From the APP:
U.S. Senate candidate Joseph Pennacchio Monday criticized Republican opponent Dick Zimmer for making use of a property tax break by selling hay from his Hunterdon County home.
Pennacchio pledged to write new laws in the state Senate banning “gentlemen farmers” from the Jersey landscape.
“Here is a guy who is asking to represent the people of New Jersey, yet he takes advantage of them to have them subsidize his estate. That’s unfair, ridiculous and selfish,” said Pennacchio, a Republican state senator from Morris County, at a Statehouse news conference.
Zimmer, a Washington lobbyist who maintains homes in the capital and in Delaware Township, receives a tax break on most of his 24.5-acre Hunterdon County property under a 1964 state law intended to help struggling farmers and preserve farms and open space.
Zimmer’s home is on one acre, assessed at $353,900, on which he paid $7,212 in property taxes last year. His other 23.55 acres are assessed at $8,300, and on that property he paid $169 in taxes in 2007.
The state legislation promised by Pennacchio would mandate anyone getting the tax break live in New Jersey and increase the minimum amount of money gained from the land — needed to become eligible for the break — from $500 a year to $1,250.