February 11, 2007 |
Haven't we been here before? It's an election year in New Jersey and state lawmakers are offering up a property tax-relief package - one that would dole out an average of $1,051 to 1.9 million households this year. Authors of the plan, which Gov. Corzine is expected to sign into law, insist this is the real thing: meaningful, long-lasting reform. But critics swear the program is just another vote-getting gimmick that cannot be sustained over time. And recent history, it seems, is on their side.
January 16, 2007 |
New Jersey's leaders have put a condition on the 20 percent tax credit promised for most households: They want an accompanying law prohibiting local and school taxes from being increased by more than 4 percent each year. This has mayors all over the state putting up a fight, saying that the tax cap may sound good but in practice could hurt the poor and lead to layoffs and cuts in everything from public safety to trash pickup. Somerdale Mayor Gary Passanante knows that his residents are crying out for lower property taxes.
December 31, 2010 |
TRENTON - Some New Jersey lawmakers have called for the cancellation of state contracts with contributors to Reform Jersey Now, a political organization tied to Gov. Christie that released its list of donors this week after months of criticism that it lacked transparency. Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono (D., Middlesex) and Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan (D., Union) accused the organization of skirting the state's pay-to-play law, which bars firms that receive more than $17,500 in state contracts from contributing more than $300 to statewide candidates.
July 5, 2010 |
In 1980, Massachusetts voters passed Proposition 2½, which imposed a property-tax cap similar to the one being pushed by New Jersey's governor. As a Massachusetts resident and taxpayer, I hoped the cap would make living in my state more affordable. Unfortunately, the price we have paid in public-safety and service reductions far outweighs any tax break we've gotten. Arlington, Mass., is a Boston suburb where I grew up and currently serve as chief of police. It has a population of just under 50,000 people who enjoy the community's beauty and proximity to Boston.
December 31, 2011 |
The days of on-demand trash pickup are over for residents of Millburn, the Essex County community best known for the Mall at Short Hills, where Cartier diamonds meet Dior fashions. Homeowners in the town of 18,700 people 20 miles west of Manhattan were accustomed to summoning a public-works truck at no charge to collect whatever they neglected to set out on garbage day. On Jan. 1, a cheaper private hauler will replace municipal employees collecting trash in the township, whose $170,000 annual median household income is more than triple the national average.
July 13, 2010 |
TRENTON - The New Jersey Assembly gave final legislative approval Monday to legislation to cap property-tax increases at 2 percent annually, a compromise version of the centerpiece of Gov. Christie's plan to tackle property taxes. The vote came just nine days after Christie and Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) announced they had reached a compromise on the bill and about two weeks after the Legislature approved a $29.4 billion budget almost identical to the one proposed by Christie in March.
July 18, 2010 |
Open fields, cheap land, and good schools made Woolwich attractive to families such as Kate Bennett's - so attractive that the population has tripled to nearly 10,000 since she moved from Philadelphia into a four-bedroom home there a decade ago. The boom made the Gloucester County farming community one of the fastest-growing towns in the Northeast. And to residents' dismay, it has caused property taxes to skyrocket as well. The average tax bill in Woolwich has doubled to $8,625 since 2000, while property taxes overall in communities in Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties jumped 64 percent to $5,688, on average, according to an Inquirer analysis of state figures.
May 24, 1990 |
The debate on capping the city wage tax was lively. The bill to do so is probably dead. Despite a state Senate vote yesterday to lock the wage tax for Philadelphia residents at its current 4.96 percent, House leaders say the measure won't even get to a House vote. The sponsor, Sen. M. Joseph Rocks, R-Philadelphia, says even though City Council and Mayor Goode now appear opposed to raising the tax, the cap would prevent a change of heart or a possible court order. Rocks' colleagues say his motives are purely political because he's facing a tough re-election fight in November.