Thursday, June 29, 2006

Countdown to Shutdown

From the Star Ledger:

Tensions mount as state budget battle gets ugly
BY JEFF WHELAN AND JOE DONOHUE

New Jersey's budget battle turned bizarre yesterday as Assembly Democrats staged what amounted to a six-hour Statehouse sit-in, lawmakers openly cursed each other and the budget committee chairman tried to haul the treasurer before the panel to explain why Gov. Jon Corzine doesn't like their alternative spending plan.

By day's end, New Jersey inched closer to a state government shutdown as the budget stalemate between Corzine and Assembly Democrats continued. Despite the Assembly Budget Committee chairman's prediction that his panel would approve a spending plan that does not include a sales tax increase, no action was taken.
...
Corzine said he was prepared to shut down state government operations if budget negotiations remained stalled and the Legislature failed to meet a midnight Friday deadline to deliver him a state budget. Corzine once again insisted a sales tax increase from 6 percent to 7 percent is necessary to balance the state budget. Assembly Democrats refused to back down in their opposition to the hike.

"We will end up phasing down the operations of the state until people come to their senses," Corzine said.

22 Comments:

Blogger minutesfromNYC said...

I am all for the sales tax hike...if anything, it may discourage NYers from coming here on weekends which means less traffic, and ultimately less business for this horrible, horrible state

6/29/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

My budget plan?

I'd like to see the sales tax increased and extended to other goods and services.

Phase in a plan to eliminate pensions.

Cut, cut, and cut deeper.

Force consolidation of services.

Enhance tax benefits for corporations.

Increase spending on education, but only after "cleaning up" the system.

grim

6/29/2006 07:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Grim, if you "cleaned up" the system, eliminated the bad teachers and the overpaid scum sucking out the education money you would not have to increase spending on education.
Happy to be out of NJ

6/29/2006 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

I’ll second that.
Unfortunately, it will never happen. The culture of entitlement and corruption just runs too deep in this state. While we have been focusing on Corzine and the State, more action is also needed at the local level. Does every little bedroom community with 7,000 residents really need their own superintendent of schools, police chief, 25 officers, engineers, assessors, 10 fire trucks, etc.?

6/29/2006 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Forgot to add a point about paying back debt faster..

grim

6/29/2006 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger RichInNorthNJ said...

I'd like to see cuts first, before I would agree to ANY tax hikes. Show me you can do that and then we can talk tax increases.

We have gambling (Atlantic City & lottery) in this state that brings in revenue that other states don't have, yet they can balance their budget.
Some states have a sales tax and other have an income tax. We have the highest of both.

6/29/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel like they are taking the easy way out... They aren't doing there job in trying to determine where spending cuts can be made

They basically said to themselves
.....Gosh, we are going to have a budget shortfall, We can just increase the sales tax! Problem fixed.

We keep on getting taken advantage of as tax payers. Let them sweat it out and think up some real solutions. I agree with grim on all of his suggestions. What happened to Assemblyman Sweeney from Glouchester.... he talked about some of his collegues voluntarily giving up some ridiculous perks. 17 paid holidays, 20 vacation days, Endless Sickdays that can be carried over and over the top pensions.

6/29/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

From the Daily Record:

A chief's bonanza

The galling thing about the staggering $469,000 payout to outgoing Parsippany police chief Michael T. Filippello is that no law is being violated.

That should change. The state should cap the amount of unused sick and vacation time a public employee can receive upon retirement at something reasonable -- like $15,000.

The state has to change the law, but that doesn't get Parsippany officials (mostly past) off the hook.

We learn that the chief was able to accumulate 450 unused vacation days during 34 years on the job, the last 18 as chief. That breaks down to almost two full years of work days. Filippello also is getting paid for 335 sick days that the apparently very healthy chief never took.

6/29/2006 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

I think I woke up on the cynical side of the bed this morning..

grim

6/29/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

What happened to Assemblyman Sweeney from Glouchester.... he talked about some of his collegues voluntarily giving up some ridiculous perks.

Here is his website:
http://www.stopspendingmymoney.com

6/29/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The schools do not need anymore money. If you were to give them more it would just be wasted or fall into New Jersey's black hole.

I say consolidate all schools, police and fire depts. Purchases for equipment should be made on a large county or even state level to lower per item costs. Get rid of most of the superintendants and hire just a few to cover more schools.

Consolidation is the key.

6/29/2006 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger PN said...

The potential cost savings from municipal consolidation are overstated.

First of all, the big bucks are being spent in Newark, Jersey City, Camden, etc. There is much more waste and potential savings in these locations than the smaller townships.

Secondly, there is already a movement to shared services and personnel at the local level because they simply have no choice, thanks to flat funding from the state over the last few years. High property taxes and poor economics are beginning to overwhelm political inertia.

NJ Fiscal Folly

http://njfiscalfolly.blogspot.com/

6/29/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shared services are inevitable. We have no choice but to consolidate. Cliffside Park and Fairview will begin construction on a new shared DPW building. I think it might the first of its kind. I live in a town that is 1 Square Mile. We have three fire houses and Seperate Ambulance buildings.

6/29/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

History Question:

For what purpose were the lottery and Atlantic City casino gambling originally intended?

6/29/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://njassemblyrepublicans.com

6/29/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Higher taxes will just lead to more people leaving the state, which will cause tax revenues to decline further, leading to even more tax hikes. I'm outta here...

6/29/2006 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

I think the solution for NJ's woes is simply cut revenues. There is too much corruption and imbedded influence. Just make the pot and small as possible. Those who are "stealing" [literally and figuratively] have less of a chance to hide when $$$ are tight.

The state is going to run off the rails. Hopefully Corzine isn't just a Wall Street verison of Karen Blanco.

6/29/2006 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo guys are missing the big picture. The fight is not really about the 7% sales tax. That is a done deal.

The fight is about what to do about the monies - Corzine wants to pay back debt & obligations, and nothing for property taxes - which are a local politicians or fiefdom problems - which they can solve by merging services and stopping the double-dipping on public jobs & pensions.

What the Dems wants is to put the monies from the sales tax increase into aid to towns to reduce property taxes so the fiefdom makers don't have to change their ways, and on top of that the State's debt and obligation will still be outstanding.

I say Corzine all the way baby....

6/29/2006 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger RichInNorthNJ said...

"The top five answers are on the board...

show me BUDGET CUTS!!

6/29/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to see 7.5% sales tax, and elimination of Home Rule.

6/29/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Anonymous MaryanneNJ said...

minutesfromNYC said...
I am all for the sales tax hike...if anything, it may discourage NYers from coming here on weekends which means less traffic,

Our sales tax will still be lower than NY. Besides, I don't think the reason they shop here now is because they save 2% on sales tax.

6/29/2006 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger RichInNorthNJ said...

I'd like to see 7.5% sales tax, and elimination of Home Rule.

I'm sorry, but what's "Home Rule"?

Our sales tax will still be lower than NY. Besides, I don't think the reason they shop here now is because they save 2% on sales tax.

Well, if they come here for clothing they save 7% as NJ doesn't tax clothing while NY does.


PS: ..show me BUDGET CUTS!!

6/29/2006 10:33:00 PM  

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