Sorry to everyone that thought we might see some property tax relief in the next few years. Unfortunately, it’s starting to look like a very unlikely scenario. Why? Seems our state pension is more than $25,000,000,000.00 in the hole (Yes, that’s Billion with a ‘B’). And once we hit the big ‘B’, we’re talking about real money.
New Jersey should add $12.1 billion to its pension system, raise the minimum retirement age and require public employees and retirees to pay part of their medical expenses to address a shortfall in funds, a report by a governor- appointed task force said.
Raise the minimum retirement age for public employees? It’ll never happen.
Require public retirees to pay anything? It’ll never happen.
Raise additional funds to cover the shortfall? Easy.
New Jersey faces a $5.1 billion budget deficit in the fiscal year that begins July 1, and polls have shown that state voters want relief from what U.S. Census figures show are the highest local property taxes in the nation. State and local lawmakers have deferred contributions to the pensions for the last four years or sold pension bonds to eliminate shortfalls.
Lawmakers from both parties share blame for the shortfall, the report said. New Jersey borrowed $2.8 billion in 1998 under Republican Governor Christine Todd Whitman to eliminate a pension gap and prevent a tax increase. Democrats James McGreevey and Codey deferred pension payments and allowed local governments to delay payments or use pension bonds rather than raise taxes to make up for shortfalls.
Let see, if we are faced with a huge budget deficit, what do we do to take care of the problem? Defer it! Let the next poor schmuck take care of it, because we want the public to love us. Let them hate the guy whose got to mop up this mess. So where did the money go anyway?
The pension system lost nearly 20 percent on its investments in 2001 and 2002, the report said. The investments have earned 26 percent over the last three years.
Fantastic track record guys!
…by contributing $12.1 billion now, as long as investment performance over the next few years meets assumptions.
Oh just wonderful, instead of contributing more money and setting realistic performance targets, we’ll just put in the bare minimum and invest it in the highest risk securities hoping for a 50% return in the next few years? Didn’t 2001 and 2002 teach you anything? How about investing that money to bring high-tech jobs back to NJ? Nah, it’ll go right into the hedge funds.
I really hope there aren’t many readers that were hoping for a tax break in the next few years, it won’t happen, not with this nonsense going on. It’s ok though, because all you rich homeowners living high on equity and Hummers can afford it… right?