Sunday, July 02, 2006

NJ Government is closed for business

Democrats fighting Democrats. The newly elected Democratic governor of NJ wants to raise the sales tax, the Democratic legislator does not want a sales tax increase, they would prefer $917 million in "other" tax increases.

Washington Times

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Gov. Jon Corzine shut down the state government yesterday after a deadline to adopt a new balanced budget expired, bringing road construction projects to a halt and furloughing tens of thousands of state employees indefinitely.
State parks, beaches and historic sites were expected to close Wednesday -- the day after the July Fourth holiday.
It was a grim climax to a bitter dispute with Mr. Corzine's fellow Democrats in the Assembly over his plan to increase the sales tax.
"It gives me no joy, no satisfaction, no sense of empowerment to do what I'm forced to do here," Mr. Corzine said.
About 45,000 state employees were immediately furloughed. The order allows Mr. Corzine to keep 36,000 state employees working without pay. Services such as state police, prisons, mental hospitals and child welfare were to keep operating. Casinos could be forced to close because they require state monitoring, but the casino industry was challenging that in court.
No formal talks between Mr. Corzine and legislators were scheduled yesterday, but Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts Jr., a Democrat, called the Assembly Budget Committee back to the Statehouse for a meeting at 10 a.m. today.
"Committee members should expect to work Sunday through Monday so we can bring a satisfactory end to this crisis," Mr. Roberts said.
The dispute centers on Mr. Corzine's determination to raise the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to help close a $4.5 billion budget deficit.
The governor sees the increase as a vital step toward providing reliable annual revenue, but most Democrats in the Assembly -- the lower house of the state Legislature -- and several Senate Democrats say it is unnecessary. Led by Mr. Roberts, they offered $741 million in spending cuts and $917 million in other tax increases to avoid a sales-tax increase, but Mr. Corzine rejected many of their ideas.
Opponents have questioned the need for a sales-tax increase, predicting voter backlash and demanding that any increase be reserved for property-tax reform.
Mr. Corzine complained that budget efforts "have not resulted in the sort of responsible plan the public has a right to expect."
The shutdown marks the first time the state government has had to close because of a budget dispute.
"What's happening in the Statehouse is shameful," said Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce, a Republican.
The state Constitution requires a balanced budget by July 1, but the deadline has been missed four times in five years. Nothing happened when deadlines were missed before, but the state never went past the morning of July 2 without an adopted budget. Without one, the state has no authority to spend money. The shutdown lasts until a budget agreement is signed.

Here is a perfect example of Democratic leadership. The Democrats have complete control in New Jersey and they are fighting on how best to increase the taxes of the New Jersey people.

5 comments:

Republican teacher said...

We should be cheering on the sidelines and hoping for an implosion, in fighting can only benefit US and take some attention off the Supreme Court decision and war

jeff said...

Kathy,

Actually the Democratic-controlled legislature is against the Democratic governor's plan to raise the sales tax 1 penny per dollar. Also, at least so far, the Legislature there hasnt come up with an alternative.

I am disappointed that the state employees who monitor the casinos there arent considered 'essential' employees and as of 7am are off the job---meaning the state of New Jersey loses about $1 million in revenue a day and that the casino employees who arent state employees are laid off also. I think the figure was 50,000 people like you and me are temporarily without a job until the crisis is settled.

K. Carpenter said...

According to the article- the legislators have come up with a alternate plan-

"Led by Mr. Roberts, they offered $741 million in spending cuts and $917 million in other tax increases to avoid a sales-tax increase, but Mr. Corzine rejected many of their ideas."

Now, whether or not, this is a viable plan- I couldn't tell you.

You are correct in the casino closing. I just read an article a couple of minutes ago. I read that the state loses $1.3 million in taxes a day because of the casino closing. Thousands of people are out of work and not getting paid. Worse yet, according to this article, even though police officers and many others are still working, technically they are not getting paid either.

here is the article-

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060705/D8ILRDKG0.html

jeff said...

Just read the compromise agreement which will reopen state government in NJ.

Couple questions come to mind:

1)If half the 1% increase is going to property tax relief, why not just raise the sales tax 1/2% and let the citizens not have to pay money targeted to relieve other taxes they need to pay? Or will the 1/2 used go to prevent planned increases in property taxes? Even so the taxpayer gets the shaft.

2)When the whole increase is available to relieve property tax costs, why not just reverse the sales tax increase and let the people keep the money?

Am I missing some politician logic here?

K. Carpenter said...

Your right, Jeff. It's all political speak.

I just read the compromise. The NJ taxpayers just got stuck again. The state is raising their taxes.