Monday, July 24, 2006

New Jersey Fed Up

From the Record:

Record series touched a raw nerve, pro and con
By BOB IVRY

People are angry. Very angry.

Taxpayers are fed up with high property taxes. Cops and teachers are frustrated with being blamed.

Runaway Pay, The Record's six-part series on public-worker compensation, either tapped into taxpayers' emotions or, in the case of public workers, became the target of their anger. More than 250 readers responded to the articles by phone and e-mail. Feedback on the articles was positive by a ratio of more than 2-to-1.

Runaway Pay outlined how the unchecked influence of the police and teachers unions contributes to rising property taxes in New Jersey.
...
A lot of readers said they had no idea their police and teachers were so well compensated, and for many, the news provided a piece of the property-tax puzzle that was missing.

Teachers and police and their supporters defended the compensation levels, saying that people underestimated the difficulty of their jobs. Others cited school administrators' sweetheart deals, pension abuse and the avarice of elected officials as more of a drain on the public purse than the salaries and benefits or rank-and-file workers.
...
Governor Corzine, through a spokesman, said, "This report raises serious questions about the impact of skyrocketing public-employee benefit costs on our state budget." The spokesman, Brendan Gilfillan, said Corzine would address the issue of state employee benefits in contract negotiations this fall.

24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pockets of the NJ taxpayer have
been picked and continue to be picked.


Now we have a special investigator
for The AG. She should just resign.

Does anybody know how much this is going to cost the NJ taxpayer?

7/24/2006 06:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the Record's stories, but I was aware of the police/teacher situation before.

As high as the salaries for police may be, the bigger problem is the redundancy and excessive size of police departments because of home rule.

As I mentioned before, I live in Monmouth County and as long as small towns like Fair Haven, Rumson, West Long Branch, Deal, Allenhurst, etc., have their own departments with their own chiefs and command structure the taxpayers there will get screwed.

The police departments aren't the only problem of course, but they are the most noticable example.

As far as the teachers go, the bigger problem there, as far as I can see, is bloated administration and the dissatisfaction with poor teachers. If you're kid has a bad teacher you feel like you're getting taken, if they have a good teacher you think you're getting your money's worth.

Lindsey

7/24/2006 07:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON 07:22:14 AM
Does anybody know how much this is going to cost the NJ taxpayer?

47000/month at a minimum; and the investigation can last beyond 5 months. Insult to injury. It happens all the time. When Pitello "resigned" from UMDNJ he received a 500,000 severance package. The school is under investigation for Medicare misbilling along the lines of 250 million dollars. Who's going to pay for that?

7/24/2006 08:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't blame the cops and teachers,
they are just the scapegoats. Real peoblem is the politicans, the regulaters, and the human health services. Look at the budget for those groups. You will be beside yourself.

Oh well, next time you drive by a housing project, just pat yourself on the back and tell yourself, I paid for that...tell yourself...you know, that housing project was worth me working overtime each week and never being home for dinner and not knowing my family and missing my kids grow up....tell yourself...god I am so glad I am paying for the homeboys to play dice on the corner, instead of paying for my kids college education (which you yet have no clue about how to pay for...).
ah yes, pat yourself on the back.

But hey, that is why you bought a house right? Because you are going to make bank when you sell it....Mmmm....perhaps not.

he he...yee..., I was addressing no one on this blog in particular, I am just trying to make a point.

This is why I stress, think of a way to start a home based buisness that you can except cash, under the table, and not pay high taxes, but yet still get the benefits of tax breaks....ah yes....works like a charm, but I am just worn out vet from the 60's...what do I know...

BTW-anyone know the real difference between a first world country and a third world country....in a third world country there is not middle class. What is happening to the middle class today? They are getting the shit squeezed out of them. If your rich, hell, your rich. If your poor, hell, the govt take care of you. But if you are middle class, you get pissed on.

SAS

7/24/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great series in The Record -- finally the facts.

NJ has 500,000 employees riding the gov't gravy train. Let's say conservatively that these folks and their dependents get a total of 4 prescriptions a year. That's 2 million Rxs. Now suppose they pony up an extra $10 per Rx, in addition to the pennies they now pay. A mere $40 a year, less than the cost of a haircut, would generate $20 million a year to help close the budget gap.

But you know the union leaders would howl in protest. At the same time they tell the Record with a straight face that they just want "affordable health care for everyone." Yeah, right. They don't know what health care really costs.

I love this state but can I afford to stay? Not likely, due to gov't greed.

7/24/2006 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

Maybe if Booker manages to clean-up Newark from the inside out, we will have a prototype for the rest of the state. It will be really interesting if he can manage to shame everyone else.

The flip side - there is big money that we are discussing. The person who steps up here is going to be taking their life and the family's well being into serious jeopardy.

7/24/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cops = overpaid
teachers = underpaid

At least in my Bergen Co. hamlet.

7/24/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo to Senator Stephen Sweeney for having the courage to even consider speaking up against the simply ridiculous perks that governement workers receive. 37 hour work weeks, 17 paid holidays, 3-4 weeks vacation...... on and on

Senator Stephen Sweeney website:
http://www.stopspendingmymoney.com/

7/24/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is happening to the middle class today?

I agree. This is clearly happening in high tax states. If you want tio live a "middle-class life" (as it has been understood) you need $600,000 house and annual income of $200,000. Of course, you have no free time or vacation and you never see your kids. If you are lucky (win in a lottery, rich uncle dies) you may even retire before you are 80.

This system is sick. Lazy poor people and illegals are rewarded while law-abiding middle-class people suffer (especially if you happen to be white, given all race quotas in government contracts, schools and jobs)

7/24/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It 's already starting with booker.
he gave out contracts to his buddies.

donators.

these pols are all the same.
whores

7/24/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Shailesh Gala said...

But in the midst of Property Tax debate, everyone is forgetting that they made lot of money in last 5 years by RE Boom. No one really talks problems faced by First time home buyer.

In my opinion, Property Tax is not major issue as most folks who own property gained significantly in last 5 years. It is the First time home buyers that is really suffering, but this group does not form significant clout in elections, Hence it has been and will be ignored.

7/24/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would respectfully disagree.

Property Tax is by far the largest
problem we have in NJ.

It's killing the state.

7/24/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger RichInNorthNJ said...

No one really talks problems faced by First time home buyer.

I would rather have the market correct this "issue" than the government.

In my opinion, Property Tax is not major issue as most folks who own property gained significantly in last 5 years.

This DOES effect first time home buyers as they'll have to pay taxes too. And the gain in home values does not offset the gain in property taxes.

7/24/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First time buyers who know anything
about Finance are sometimes stunned
when they are told what the
property tax will be on the house,
or townhouse.

How about the s.orange area,
27K taxes on a townhouse.

What are they crazy?
Answer:Yes

7/24/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

Anonymous said...
It 's already starting with booker.
he gave out contracts to his buddies.
donators.
these pols are all the same.
whores
7/24/2006 02:26:32 PM

I haven't done any real research on Booker. He was talking the talk. Is he a slime or just a bit Machiavellian? I guess I can live with the latter should he end up cleaning house once he gets the all the fly paper off him. In order to get into the throne, you have to sleep with dogs. However, once he is there, maybe it will be different.

If he is self-dealing in any way though, he should be shot on sight.

JMHO

7/24/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

Shailesh,

I think property taxes are an issue across the board. While many New Jerseyans are rich on paper due to property appreciation, this doesn’t mean a hill of beans when it comes to paying the property tax bill. You don’t get this money until you sell...assuming you sell.

I agree though. The property tax crisis is most problematic for first time buyers. Lets face it, while increasing property taxes are a headache for my parents, their house is paid for, so it’s their only real expense. For many of us who don’t own, the combination of sky high housing prices and sky high property taxes makes home ownership in NNJ an impossibility.

I also agree that the first time buyer demographic is politically underrepresented and largely ignored. While I don’t favor a political solution to the housing bubble, I’m also concerned about what kind of property tax reforms we could see. Lets face it; any breaks will first go to seniors and low-income individuals. One “solution” I heard tossed around would be to go to a Florida/California property tax model where taxes are assessed based on most recent sale price and annual increases are capped. A model like this would push more of the burden onto first time buyers.

7/24/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

property taxes are a problem at all stages. is every 50-65 year old that has a ton of "equity" and/or "appreciation" going to take out reverse mortgages to pay future property taxes. The fact is that education/police salaries take some times 80+ percent of total municipal budgets. Somethings gotta give.

7/24/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I escaped from NJ about ten years ago and moved to AZ. I built a beautiful home in Gilbert - the No. 16th Best Place to Live according to Money Magazine - 2400 square feet, pool, spa, 1/4 acre on a cul-de-sac, a brand-new elementary school is in walking distance for my two kids - school started today and my daughter is now going to all-day kindergarten free of charge AND they wear uniforms - and my property taxes were just raised to $1,600.00 per year.

7/24/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

{{{{I agree. This is clearly happening in high tax states. If you want tio live a "middle-class life" (as it has been understood) you need $600,000 house and annual income of $200,000. Of course, you have no free time or vacation and you never see your kids. If you are lucky (win in a lottery, rich uncle dies) you may even retire before you are 80.}}}

That is right. But everyone is so concerned with the latest fashions as well as keeping up with the Joneses (both guys and girls). Already the focus is on Back to School shopping and how this is going to be another Barn Burner searson for retailers. The last three years have been absolute blowouts during the Back to School - Holiday Season. Even $100 Oil & 8% mortgage rates won't slow retail spending.

Housing may have plateaued (not slowed) but department & specialty stores are doing a huge business especially in any mall & in Manhattan.

{{This system is sick. Lazy poor people and illegals are rewarded while law-abiding middle-class people suffer (especially if you happen to be white, given all race quotas in government contracts, schools and jobs)}}

Really?? Everyone is NYC seems to be doing better than ever. Seems like everyone is happy and is living in a hedonistic world full of prosperity where life revolves around shopping & spending money,

7/24/2006 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Roadtripboy said...

The $300 jean queen is back! We missed you!

NOT!

7/25/2006 12:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

{{{But in the midst of Property Tax debate, everyone is forgetting that they made lot of money in last 5 years by RE Boom. No one really talks problems faced by First time home buyer.}}}

So why can't the 'First Time Home Buyer' look elsewhere?? You know that there are places where you can actually survive on a five figure salary and actually enjoy live rather than just watching it pass by because you aren't making a $250,000 a year salary in this area. Or you are making slightly less than $100,000 a year but have credit card debts in the five figures.

Home prices & property taxes will not fall by much BUT there are still plenty of people who are making in the mid & high six figures (which isn't much these days) in the NYC / NJ area. This will ensure that prices stay high for the forseeable future even if mortgage rates rise above 7% (but more likely to revisit 5% than to rise to 7%)..

7/25/2006 12:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

{{I escaped from NJ about ten years ago and moved to AZ. I built a beautiful home in Gilbert - the No. 16th Best Place to Live according to Money Magazine - 2400 square feet, pool, spa, 1/4 acre on a cul-de-sac, a brand-new elementary school is in walking distance for my two kids - school started today and my daughter is now going to all-day kindergarten free of charge AND they wear uniforms - and my property taxes were just raised to $1,600.00 per year.}}


And I bet that you can live comfortably on $80,000 a year rather than feeling like you are living in poverty here while being hosed with rents, insurance, taxes, & groceries.

7/25/2006 12:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shaleish Gala said "In my opinion, Property Tax is not major issue as most folks who own property gained significantly in last 5 years."

Spoken like a true Socialist, anyone reading this board, I promise you they are here and many more in the NJ Gov't...always pretending to be "Democrats"...which boggles my mind why the real Dem's don't toss em out of office...you, your kids and grandkids can't give enough! these people hate America.

7/25/2006 02:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a few more Socialist around
here. Just take about the Illegals
and they come out.

They can't help themselves.

NJ is a true Welfare State.

7/25/2006 05:16:00 AM  

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