From the APP:
Gov. Corzine is right to refuse to accept a short-term fix when it comes to tax reform. Tax credits can provide immediate relief for the needy, but to benefit everyone, we must have reform that specifically addresses the bad land use decisions that arise from the chase for commercial ratables. That encourages municipalities to make the economically logical choice to zone out housing for families with kids because residential property taxes fail to cover the costs of schools.
The ratables chase is a significant factor behind the sprawling growth patterns that have made it so difficult for people to live in and do business in New Jersey. Traffic congestion, a lack of affordable housing and environmental degradation all take a toll on the state’s economy.
If New Jersey hopes to remain competitive, we need tax reform that promotes smart growth and better land use by eliminating the ratables chase. The Legislature must make the tough decisions necessary to bring about economic prosperity — and long-term tax relief — for all New Jerseyans, not just a targeted few.
From the Courier Post Online:
Our state lawmakers are proposing a 20 percent tax credit for low- and middle-income New Jerseyans — although it would include eliminating the New Jersey Saver Rebate that is $300 for many property owners. So, on a tax bill of $6,000, taking out the $300 rebate, the savings would equal $900.
That would be a good, realistic start if lawmakers can do it and, more importantly, sustain it. Likewise, raising the state retirement age to 62 (from 55) and increasing the amount of state funding for education are also wise plans.
Still, while ideas are still being debated, we’d like to see lawmakers work toward even larger cuts, as would the letter writers who responded here and those who voted in our poll. Among those 2,325 people, 90 percent said a 20 percent tax credit isn’t enough.
Clearly, New Jersey residents want even greater cuts. And why shouldn’t they? They’ve been overtaxed for years in this state and are sick of it. They want sweeping reductions, up to 50 percent, as some letter writers have suggested.
That, of course, would mean radical steps would have to be taken, such as significantly shrinking the number of government workers in this state, consolidating our plethora of government entities, reducing the benefits to government workers and, above all, ending the huge annual spending increases in Trenton each year.
Our state spends too much money and, because of it, requires too much in taxes from citizens.