Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Living In NJ Is About To Get A Little More Expensive

From the Star Ledger this morning:

Corzine budget plan includes higher taxes

Gov. Jon Corzine is planning more than $2 billion in spending cuts, along with major tax increases that could include an additional penny to the sales tax, to balance the next state budget, a top administration official said yesterday.

The cuts include $100 million from higher education and a freeze on state aid for most school districts. That would increase the pressure on municipal officials to raise property taxes and on colleges to raise tuitions.

"You are going to hear the howling near and far," said the official, who is familiar with the budget planning and discussed it on condition of anonymity.

...
The official said Corzine has not settled on the mix of tax increases but that they will generate less than $2 billion. The source said it is "likely but not definite" they will include sales tax changes.

Four other Democratic sources said the governor, who personally briefed Democratic leaders on the budget Monday, is considering raising the 6 percent sales tax to 7 percent and extending it to some untaxed services. Those two moves alone could net about $1.4 billion.
...
As he readies Tuesday's budget address, the governor also hopes to save about $200 million through layoffs and other personnel actions involving 15,000 non-unionized state workers, the source said. Those moves would include layoffs of about 400 political appointees; salary freezes; a requirement that non-union workers contribute 10 percent of their health insurance premiums (there currently are no co-pays), and possibly some pension changes.

The governor has ruled out similar steps for unionized workers, at least until salary contracts are up for renegotiation next year.

All I'm going to say on this is don't blame Corzine, he didn't make this mess.

Caveat Emptor!
Grim

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted for Doug Forrester...

3/15/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...

I was planning to buy a new car -- maybe I should do so before the new sales tax comes into effect. 1% of a cars price is still 200 plus dollars

3/15/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every time I vote these days I ahve to pinch my nose. PU they all stink!

3/15/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's time to leave the state! North Carolina here I come!

3/15/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger pesche22 said...

why not cut the give away programs
and welfare,,, plus spending on schools ,, out of control

3/15/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The governor has ruled out similar steps for unionized workers, at least until salary contracts are up for renegotiation next year."

should read-
The governor has ruled out similar steps for unionized workers, at least until their support does not mean re election.

When he has no more use for them he will divorce them as he did his wife.

Another cool Corzine/RE factiod.... his house listed in Summit at $4.2 last year sold for $3.7 a 500K drop. Talk about a lowball!

Grimm you should seek out some stats on homes $2MM and over- big percentage drops!

3/15/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This bites, but I'd still rather raise taxes on consumption than income.

3/15/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about cutting back outrageous payroll system (with all that 'overtime') and pension packages that public employees get? A state trooper should not be making $100,000+ year. A toll booth collector should not be making $80,000+ year. Sounds unbelievable, but these things are happening. And after 30 years of service, they're entitled to 80% of their pay for the rest of their life.

Stuff like this just makes me so angry.

3/16/2006 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

This bites, but I'd still rather raise taxes on consumption than income.

Agreed!!!

3/16/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Roadtripboy said...

I neither blame Corzine nor believe he has much of a choice in the upcoming tax increases. I actually like that he's also planning to cut spending as well---both need to be done to get our budget under control.

I don't think I have too much of a problem with police officers getting paid 80-100K, given that they basically have to risk life and limb in the daily performance of their job---and they do it to protect all of us. However I do agree that at that salary, they should be able to assume some financial responsibility for their retirements and healthcare.

I notice a tendency in us as a nation that we all want to have good roads, good schools, strong police and fire departments, nice parks for our children to play, a clean environment, etc. etc. But then at the same time we don't want our taxes increased. There's a disconnect here.

3/16/2006 11:41:00 PM  
Anonymous trroll said...

roadtripboy,

I agree with you as to Corzine not having much choice – when it comes to balancing the budget. I also agree, partially though, with your statement about police. Yes, they risk their lives – at least those working in bad areas – but when it comes to salaries I believe in a universal rule – higher risk (read job insecurity) the greater reword. They got one of the most secured jobs in the nation – they also have incredible union that does not allow anyone to touch a cop unless they have no other choice. And if you would like to become a cop – you can almost forget about (in the nice towns) unless you know someone on the force that will get you in. So, I do mind if the cop makes $100K plus of the over time and the time off.

And yes, I do want to have nice park, feel safe, have a clean environment…etc. We can have it all with out paying ridiculous taxes – which can be cut if we stop wasting taxpayers money – and have some serious accountability (read: severe jail times) for wasteful spending. I strongly believe that if we saw few “government employees” going to jail for 10 years for wasting taxpayers money – they next guy would think twice before making a decision. There are town with low taxes, nice parks, save and clean environment – how do they do it – well, it’s called good management. But what we have in NJ is total and complete luck of accountability – if you waste millions in taxpayer money the worst that can happen to you – you MIGHT loose your job (and I used the word MIGHT very loosely).

3/17/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Roadtripboy said...

Trroll,
I also don't think that anyone who has a 100K salary should get paid overtime---I agree with you here. The larger salary is supposed to make up for the overtime.

I also agree with you that taxpayer money should not be wasted (no resources should be wasted, IMO). However, therein lies the problem: How do we define waste? I think we can all agree that when the military spends $300 on a hammer, that is waste (IMO, a campaign contribution give-back). But I'll bet if we looked at all government spending (federal, state, local) there would be a lot of disagreement on what constitutes waste.

One observation I see in a lot of organizations (private, public, governmental, schools) is that there are often a lot of "chiefs" and not enough "indians". (no disrespect intended to Native Americans).

3/18/2006 11:33:00 PM  
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4/18/2006 10:53:00 PM  
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