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Friday, January 21, 2005

The Plan 4 NJ

Have you head or seen the ads for the group Plan 4 NJ.? The group opposed to a constitutional convention to reform property tax? Well, check out their website. They have come up a new rebate scheme that picks winners and losers based upon income and age. As they say on the site – their plan is revenue neutral. So there is no actual decrease in property taxes – just some will get rebates of varying amounts and other will get nothing. Now that’s real reform.

Oh, and guess who’s behind the plan? Gee it’s the education lobby and teacher’s unions. We agree with their call for a special legislative session to deal with reducing property taxes, but we think it best if the legislators work on cutting spending and placing a cap on tax increases for all taxpayers. Isn't it amazing these groups have the money to advertise in the most expensive market in the country?

The Plan 4 NJ was developed by the Alliance to Reform Taxes (ART), working with tax experts and economists. The ART is a coalition of state organizations including the Education Law Center, the NAACP-NJ, the NJ Coalition for Property Tax Reform, and the New Jersey Education Association. The Plan was reviewed by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), of Washington, DC, and the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), which found it to be a promising and sound approach to tax reform



6 Comments:

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Plan 4 NJ merely shifts the burden onto the wealthy. (Not a bad idea in my opinion). One issue that I don't think "The Plan" deals with is "bracket creep." In other words, the brackets for the reductions (not necessarily rebates, but tax write-offs) are using numbers like $100k and $200K. If these numbers aren't adjusted periodically to account for inflation, then as the years go by, then more and more people will eventually make it into the higher brackets. I'm emailing them about this issue. It should be interesting to see if they respond. I don't like it when the government just picks numbers out of a hat and doesn't adjust them for inflation. (Take the AMT as an example.)

Jay

 
At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be fairer if the people receiving the services paid their fair share for those services? Apparently you don't care how much money the government spends or wastes as long as you don't have to pay for it.

Merely shift the burden to the wealthy you say. Why? Do you condone confiscation of personal property because a majority of people thinks it okay? Is that fair – how? What level of income in your mind makes a person wealthy?

Is a person wealthily in the year he is forced to sell his home because he can no longer afford property taxes, rich? Sure he “made $200,000 when he sold his home, but where’s he going to live now? Put him out of his house and then take a big portion of what he’s got left, and that’s not enough for you. He should pay even more – he’s wealthy.

Is a small business owner wealthy if he "makes $150,00" but pays 13% in Social Security taxes, 33% in federal income taxes, 6.37% in New Jersey State taxes and another $15,000 in property taxes. This man’s pension plan is whatever he can save and he pays $7,600 for his own health insurance. Is he really wealthy?

Are you paying your fair share? Don’t pick someone else’s pocket so you can have more – work to lower taxes so everyone can have more of their own money.

 
At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Gene Stone said...

Wouldn't it be fairer if the people receiving the services paid their fair share for those services? Apparently you don't care how much money the government spends or wastes as long as you don't have to pay for it.

Merely shift the burden to the wealthy you say. Why? Do you condone confiscation of personal property because a majority of people thinks it okay? Is that fair – how? What level of income in your mind makes a person wealthy?

Is a person wealthily in the year he is forced to sell his home because he can no longer afford property taxes, rich? Sure he “made $200,000 when he sold his home, but where’s he going to live now? Put him out of his house and then take a big portion of what he’s got left, and that’s not enough for you. He should pay even more – he’s wealthy.

Is a small business owner wealthy if he "makes $150,00" but pays 13% in Social Security taxes, 33% in federal income taxes, 6.37% in New Jersey State taxes and another $15,000 in property taxes. This man’s pension plan is whatever he can save and he pays $7,600 for his own health insurance. Is he really wealthy?

Are you paying your fair share? Don’t pick someone else’s pocket so you can have more – work to lower taxes so everyone can have more of their own money.

 
At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, I agree with the point that the better ideal would be to trim the fat out of government or to switch to a system where those with more children pay more in school taxes than those with less children or no children.

Secondly, when you sell your house you get a $250K capital gain exclusion as long as you've lived there for two years. You idea that selling a house with a $200k profit would cause them to pay more taxes that year is false.

YOU SAID: Is a small business owner wealthy if he "makes $150,00" but pays 13% in Social Security taxes, 33% in federal income taxes, 6.37% in New Jersey State taxes and another $15,000 in property taxes. This man’s pension plan is whatever he can save and he pays $7,600 for his own health insurance. MY RESPONSE: The Plan's website claims that if you make under $200K, your property taxes would be limited to 6% of income, which would be around 9K. By the way, if your example person is currently paying $15K simply because his house is a McMansion then it's hard to feel sorry for this person. I live in Ramsey, NJ, where the taxes are relatively high, and my townhouse is over 2000 square feet (exluding finished basement and attached garage), and I pay around $7400 per year in taxes. 15K sound high to me. Maybe the person paying $15K in taxes couldn't stand to live in a residence as "small" (sarcastic grin) as mine is, but it's hard to feel sorry for this person if the reason for the 15K tax bill is because he lives in a McMansion.

The Plan 4 NJ is less than ideal, but unless you're relatively well off, it beats the current system. I'd rather see the government trim out some of the fat, or would rather the school taxes be paid based on the number of children. Failing that, The Plan wins over the status quo, unless you're Mr. McMansion (grin).

If The Plan were to be implemented I'd like to see it have an inflationary adjustment mechanism to protect against "bracket creep."

Jay

 
At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in Jersey City, my property tax is close to $7000. Because my wife and I work, we don't qualified for any handout. Our income is over $100,000. Under the Plan4NJ, we will pay more taxes not less. It's the same o' same o'; the middle class get the shaft and the poor and rich are all on welfare....

 
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