Governor Phil Murphy’s recent op-ed, “I pledged to do something about New Jersey’s notorious taxes and I did it,” presents a set of “alternative facts” that do not stand up to scrutiny and contradict the experience of New Jersey families directly. who are desperately looking for real solutions to their very real pain at the pump, the grocery store, the toll booths and when paying their rent or mortgage.
First, it claims that through its ANCHOR rebate program, the effective residential property tax bill will drop to 2011 levels for those who qualify. New Jerseyans know that taxes don’t go down. This program simply transfers tax money from pocket to pocket in a classic game of shells around the corner.
The governor says state support for our local schools means localities can reduce property taxes imposed by school districts. Our state budget already provides more than $15 billion of the $30 billion spent to support K-12 schools, so why aren’t these taxes dropping anywhere?
Murphy claims his budget strengthens the public service pension system while protecting taxpayers. In reality, property tax bills will be affected by a 10% increase in the cost of local and county employee pensions, and a 24% increase in health care costs, both well above the rate of already very high inflation in our country.
Despite the Governor’s claims that these increases are not his responsibility, these impending property tax increases are a direct result of Trenton’s failure to enact common-sense reforms.
Finally, the governor says his budget has set aside $5 billion to pay down more or avoid state debt for the benefit of taxpayers today and tomorrow. But, according to the Murphy administration’s own reports, the public debt grew by $11 billion under his leadership.
Facts can be very inconvenient when they don’t fit a desired narrative.
Regina M. Egea, Chair, Garden State Initiative, Morristown
Malinowski never took this “extreme left”
This is in response to Dan Aronson’s letter, “(US Rep. Tom) Malinowski should have listened to me.” The writer says he urged Malinowski, D-7th Dist., to “take a strong stand against the self-defeating hard and bigoted left of the Democratic Party” and points to the incumbent congressman’s failure to do so as the because of his defeat. .
Leaving aside Aronson’s distorted view of progressives, he writes nothing about Malinowski’s voting record that warrants criticism. Malinowski voted with the entire Democratic Party to pass several major bills this year. Does voting for the infrastructure bill place you on the radical left? Allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices? Cap the cost of insulin? These and many more are all hugely popular with millions of voters and hardly qualify one for membership of the “hard left”.
The reasons for losing Malinowski had more to do with redistricting. The state Democratic Party, in its bid to protect other congressional precincts, added 30,000 registered Republicans to the 7th, which some felt was tantamount to throwing Malinowski under the bus. The district now stretches across New Jersey from Linden to the Delaware River.
Another key reason for his loss, as Star-Ledger opinion editors pointed out, is that Representative-elect Tom Kean Jr. ran a dishonest campaign. He repeatedly described himself as “pro-choice” while receiving a 100% rating from New Jersey Right to Life and refused to allow reporters into his campaign events.
Jim Price, Montclair
Under which card are the winners?
As of Friday morning, we still don’t have the full results of the November 8 election, and we don’t know which party will control the House of Representatives or the US Senate.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I guess one could argue for expanding mail-in and early voting sites ahead of Election Day. However, it is high time to return to vote at our designated polling stations. My experience as an election worker was that 30 minutes after the polls close, we would have an accurate count of the votes cast for each candidate at that polling station.
The systems currently used to count mail-in and advance ballots can be described as giving us three-card voting results, which the loser – whatever party they represent – often won’t accept.
If voters are willing to accept the results of the three-card vote, then we have a three-card democracy.
Armand Rose, North Arlington
The cave dwellers unite
While I agree that U.S. Representative-elect Tom Kean Jr. “hid in his basement” during his recent campaign for the Seventh District Congressional seat, I’m curious why columnist Tom Moran, who criticized Kean over it, didn’t treat Joe Biden the same when he also hid in the basement during his 2020 presidential campaign.
Isn’t the president a more important office?
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