Sky is the limit for NJ … taxes

From the Record:

Analysis: NJ economic growth won’t sustain Murphy’s agenda, adding pressure to raise taxes

Fresh off striking a budget deal that included $1.6 billion in new taxes, Gov. Phil Murphy said he was banking on strong economic growth going forward to raise the money he needs to fulfill a long list of progressive promises.

“We’re neither going to cut our way to salvation, nor are we going to tax our way to salvation,” Murphy, a Democrat, said in a July interview with and the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey. “The road that we’ve got to be absolutely laser focused on is grow our way to a better tomorrow.”

But economic growth alone is likely to leave Murphy at least $300 million short — and potentially much more — of what he needs next year to cover pledged funding for schools, public employee pensions and other priorities, according to an analysis by the Network.

That could force him to make politically painful decisions to cut programs or push to raise taxes further.

Murphy has said that with better policies in place under his predecessors, New Jersey could have added $2 billion to $3 billion a year in revenue from economic growth — a mark he says the state can achieve under his leadership.

As it is, however, New Jersey hasn’t added $2 billion in revenue at any point in the past decade.

All the while, New Jersey faces ballooning pension costs for public employees, growing outlays for health benefits and a broken NJ Transit system that could prove expensive to fix. And that’s in addition to Murphy’s other promises to increase funding for public schools, expand pre-K, provide tuition-free community college and enhance tax credits for low- and moderate-income working families.

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37 Responses to Sky is the limit for NJ … taxes

  1. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Want to buy a home? You might want to wait

    Home buyers who exercise patience over the next couple years may be handsomely rewarded.

    In a survey of 100 real-estate economists and experts conducted by real-estate website Zillow and research firm Pulsenomics, a 43% plurality said that they believe the U.S. housing market will become a buyer’s market in 2020.

    By then, the number of homes available for sale could finally outpace demand, allowing home buyers the chance to negotiate a lower and more affordable price on a property. The researchers didn’t give estimates on what kind of discounts buyers could expect.

    They did, however, say that some markets will see the tide change sooner than others. The panel of experts predicted that the Midwest will be first to experience the shift into a buyer’s market as early as 2019, followed by the rest of the country in 2020.

  2. Fast Eddie says:

    Democrats would confiscate your money through physical assault if they thought they could get away with it.

  3. Juice Box says:

    F@!@$ing after labor day traffic!

  4. Yo! says:

    NYT writes article and doesn’t consult grim. I checked a moment ago and top 4 stories were:

    “Here are the 30 N.J. Towns”
    “The 50 N.J. School Districts”
    “9 Reasons”
    “The 15 Real Estate Markets”

    This is journalism today. The decline is self inflicted.

  5. grim says:

    It’s because those same articles are repeated across all 100 properties the media companies run, lists are easily scalable across markets.

  6. Libturd...look me up in Costa Rica says:

    Murphy’s about to hit his day of reckining. Shame.

    Did you catch the NJ Transit article in the WSJ on Sunday?

  7. 1987 condo says:

    NJ Transit- huge failure of management.

  8. Fast Eddie says:


    Is their a link for non-describers? What did the article say?

  9. 1987 Condo says:
    Updated Sept. 2, 2018 1:17 p.m. ET

    Lisa Lebowitz was sitting in a delayed NJ Transit train departing Hoboken one recent Monday evening when she overheard an exasperated passenger complain about the frequency of last-minute cancellations.
    “Don’t worry,” Ms. Lebowitz recalled a crew member telling the passenger. “You should be good tomorrow because we take off Mondays and Fridays.”

    NJ Transit has been forced to cancel hundreds of trains this summer resulting from shortages of railcars, locomotives and workers.
    But it has also had to cancel trains because of last-minute calls from train operators saying they are sick or need time off for family or medical reasons, according to data provided by NJ Transit.

    The calls, known as unplanned absences, come most frequently over the weekend. But they are also common on Fridays and Mondays, when they impact service more extensively because the rail system runs at capacity.

    Summer Outages
    Unplanned absences by NJ Transit engineers were more common on Mondays and Fridays than on other weekdays. Because the system runs at capacity on Mondays and Fridays, those absences have led to many train cancellations this summer.

    When conductors or ticket collectors take an unplanned absence, NJ Transit can still run trains, albeit with smaller crews. But when engineers, who drive the trains, call out, the agency must cancel services.
    The situation is compounded during summer months, when not only are many workers on vacation but, according to agency data, unplanned absences are also at their highest.

    State transportation officials say NJ Transit currently employs just under 350 engineers, about 50 short of what it needs to run a reliable service.
    According to the agency’s data, between July 1 and Aug. 26 this year, on average, 23 engineers took an unplanned absence on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. That average rose to 31 engineers taking an unplanned absence on Fridays and Mondays. The rate peaked on Saturdays when, on average, 33 engineers took unplanned absences.

    These absences have forced NJ Transit to cancel trains at the last minute and to merge them with other services, leading to overcrowding and longer journeys as trains make extra stops.

    During July and most of August, NJ Transit recorded, on average, 12 cancellations due to engineer shortages on Mondays and 16 cancellations on Fridays. Those averages fell to four cancellations because of engineer shortages on Tuesdays, less than two on Wednesdays and three on Thursdays.

    The transit agency has spoken to union leaders “to express our concerns and to reinforce the impact that the pattern of unplanned absences has on our customers,” NJ Transit executive director Kevin Corbett said in a statement.
    Mr. Corbett, who took over the agency earlier this year, said NJ Transit is trying to hire and train engineers faster.
    The engineers’ union disputed NJ Transit’s data but didn’t offer an explanation for why unplanned absences rose Fridays through Mondays.
    In a statement, James Brown, NJ Transit general chairman of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, called the data “misleading.”
    In some cases, NJ Transit logs an unscheduled absence when an engineer has mandatory training or medical testing, Mr. Brown said. He added that at other times the agency has canceled services citing a crew shortage, when in fact workers were available but rail equipment was taken out of service.

    “The railroad is attempting to use its locomotive engineers as scapegoats, publicly reporting ‘unscheduled’ locomotive engineer absences in an effort to pass the blame for canceled trains onto its workers,” Mr. Brown said.
    Stephen Burkert, general chairman of SMART-TD Local 60, a union that represents NJ Transit workers including conductors and ticket collectors, said, “I am highly doubtful of the veracity of New Jersey Transit’s figures.”

    NJ Transit is one of the largest commuter railroads in the country. It runs 12 rail lines statewide and carries more than 300,000 passengers on an average weekday.
    Democratic state senate president Steve Sweeney said NJ Transit should have altered its schedule ahead of the summer to deal with the engineer shortage. Mr. Sweeney, a frequent critic of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, also a Democrat, said the governor should have sat down with union leaders and told them to stop.
    “In my world, if you establish a pattern that you’re taking off on Fridays and Mondays,” Mr. Sweeney said, “that’s an abuse.”

    Mr. Murphy took office at the beginning of the year. A senior official in his administration said that the governor’s chief of staff, Pete Cammarano, is in regular contact with the engineers’ union regarding unplanned absences and is often “on the phone expressing the governor’s outrage over this situation.“

    Gov. Phil Murphy, center, has faced criticism for the service disruptions on NJ Transit this summer. A union representing transit workers, meanwhile, has characterized the data on the agency’s reported rates of engineer absences on Mondays and Fridays as ‘misleading.’ Photo: Alex FLynn/Bloomberg News
    State transportation officials are struggling to turn NJ Transit around following years of neglect.

    Over the past decade, the agency was starved of funds and pulled back on hiring. It also lost engineers to other railroads that pay higher wages. Workers across the agency have left for similar reasons.
    NJ Transit’s problems have been compounded this year as it rushes to meet a federally mandated deadline to install safety equipment by the end of 2018, which requires taking locomotives out of service.

    Ms. Lebowitz, a contracts manager at a publishing company in Manhattan, said she just wants to know she can get to work on time in the morning and back home to Glen Ridge in the evening to see her children.

    “Why can’t they reassign their schedule and say what service they can realistically provide?” Ms. Lebowitz asked. “At least then you know what your options are.”
    Corrections & Amplifications
    An earlier chart with this article incorrectly indicated the number of unplanned engineer absences on Sundays from July 1-Aug. 25. The correct number is 251. (Sep. 2)

  10. chicagofinance says:

    Go get ’em Gator!

    Where is the rapping?

  11. MAGA2020 says:

    Lol. Nlke decided to make Colin Kaepernick it’s new spokesperson. Legendary stupidity. Heads will roll.

  12. Juice Box says:

    NJ Transit? Worst in the nation.

    They fired a whistle blower last year who reported the abuse of FMLA for last minute sick outs. They are under investigation by the Department of Labor too, this is going to end well..

  13. MAGA2020 says:

    The only easy to fix nj transit is to fire 75% of the workers and automate them. Exactly what every other first world transit system has done in the past 25 years.

  14. Bystander says:

    Let’s see what you got job market. Linkedin updated as well as profiles on major sites. HlB and H4 workers shaking in their juttis. Summer is over, back to work. Let’s see how arrogant those little recruiting turds and hiring managers are now. Is there work to be done? Is our economy really short on workers? The next few weeks will say alot. 60% of banking change work is accomplished now to Dec. as most stuff gets pushed off during first part of year and then summer. Murphy is expecting strong growth to cover NJ’s @$$? Let’s see it.

  15. Juice Box says:

    Another home sold in our neighborhood, 50k higher than the most recent comp and a new record for our neighborhood. Spoke to a few older neighbors over the week, they all want out of high taxes, many bought the early 90s and are finishing up the careers. Two are planning to move to Florida as we speak. It should add some inventory, right now there is only one home for sale, the undertaker’s house. Last time talked to him he was not moving, guess he right he went out feet first. Not a bad place, has a circular driveway but could use updating for sure.

  16. No One says:

    I drove in to Manhattan Sunday, went to an afternoon show and then dinner. The way the subway system is run is disgraceful. Cancellations of trains and stops galore. Yet hardly any communication of cancelled runs. They don’t bother to install systems alerting passengers of how long they have to wait for the next trains. They have ebonics-speaking incompetents mumbling into 50 year old squawk boxes unintelligibly and occasionally alerting passengers of cancelled stops, after it’s too late to do anything about it. Out of towners were absolutely bewildered and helpless, and even heavy subway users seemed confused and annoyed. It seems like these “transport systems” are truly just run for political patronage and the union employees, and transportation is merely the cover for the criminal operation. And now they barely even care about maintaining their cover.
    And yet so few are willing to consider privatization.

  17. Juice Box says:

    No One – Most people tune out the noise on the Subway and use an app for the train arrival times. MYmta App displays real-time info on the Subway trains. There are a few versions…

    Here is the web version.

  18. Blue Ribbon Teacher says:

    Haha, lib, the only reason I asked was because one of our teachers yesterday literally quit her afterschool nanny job and posted it asking if anyone wanted it.

  19. homeboken says:

    Is that the same Pete Cammarano, of Hoboken FBI fame?

  20. Blue Ribbon Teacher says:

    Never understood the conventional buy vs. rent argument. They always compare equivalent homes. I lived in a 1 BR apartments while renting for a decade.

  21. Trick says:

    Let the dog out last night just before bed and he started going crazy, turned out there was a mangled raccoon in the yard.
    This morning went out and it was laying against the fence barely moving with flies all over. Called animal control thinking it might be rabid, they sent a cop out who fired to rounds and left the body for me to clean-up. Fun morning….

  22. JCer says:

    As bad as NJTransit is, the MTA is actually worse, they just have more money to play with. They are political patronage mills, chock full of incompetent people the unions will not allow to be fired even for truly egregious behavior. I was friendly with someone who was in house council for the MTA, she was not in the union and pretty much told me that a union janitorial supervisor with their overtime is paid more than the staff attorneys. Also there is almost no way to fire them, the union protects people who are asleep on the job. Anyone in the union is paid way in excess of the prevailing wage and on top of that they are not at all accountable. The LIRR had the same thing going with the injury scam where all the employees were caught playing golf while out on disability! The union needs to be broken and politician need to lean on these organizations, no more money until they can get things in order. At this point they want money/resources but cannot even effectively use what they have.

  23. Juice Box says:

    AMZN – crossed the trillion dollar mark today.

  24. D-FENS says:

    Booker just sent out a fundraising email… looks like this is about raising campaign money.

  25. Alex says:

    RE: AMZN trillion market cap.

    Thanks to Amazon’s vast army of 100,000 robots and growing, working 24/7, destroying the competition and killing jobs.

  26. Juice Box says:

    Amazon is secretly working on domestic robots. They may even replace the housewife one day….

  27. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I wonder if NKE will be using some of these pics of Kaepernick wearing “cops as pigs” socks with NKE footwear in their ad campaign? NKE is the worst performer in the Dow today, down 2.73%.

  28. Ottoman says:

    Your wife should be so lucky.

    Juice Box says:
    September 4, 2018 at 1:54 pm
    Amazon is secretly working on domestic robots. They may even replace the housewife one day….

  29. Provocateur says:

    Ottoman, what are you looking forward to, robotic catamites?

  30. Libturd...look me up in Costa Rica says:

    Wholly who cares anymore about this kneeling crap. The world would be much better off to pay it no attention. Like a klan rally.

  31. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    ^^^ That would be the NFL’s preference, for sure.

  32. chicagofinance says:

    One of the stunningly best NY Post Headlines of recent vintage (Non-Anthony Weiner category)…… FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

    JCer says:
    September 4, 2018 at 11:37 am
    As bad as NJTransit is, the MTA is actually worse, they just have more money to play with. They are political patronage mills, chock full of incompetent people the unions will not allow to be fired even for truly egregious behavior. I was friendly with someone who was in house council for the MTA, she was not in the union and pretty much told me that a union janitorial supervisor with their overtime is paid more than the staff attorneys. Also there is almost no way to fire them, the union protects people who are asleep on the job. Anyone in the union is paid way in excess of the prevailing wage and on top of that they are not at all accountable.

  33. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Sometimes you write a great post and you have to ditch it completely…because you can’t figure out why or where the blacklist is tossing you off the edge of the earth. In a nutshell: Have your kids learn mass transit in Boston. It’s safe.

  34. MAGA2020 says:

    Give Murphy credit for one thing. He read the tea leaves and recognized the Democrat party is no longer the place for liberal white folks. If you aren’t a radical you can’t get on the ballot. Thanks in part to trump, what used to be the looney fringe of the party is now calling the shots. Hell, he’s gone way left of nj Union Democrats and makes Them look moderate.

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