"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

NJ Budget Score: Tax Receivers 88 - Taxpayers 12

Acting Governor Codey’s budget overview states that: “only 12% of the state of New jersey’s spending is related to the operating budgets of the 16 State departments and the majority of this amount is spent on public safety (e.g., State Police, courts, and prisons), institutions for veterans, mentally ill and the developmentally disabled, highway maintenance, etc.”

This means that 88 percent of state spending is for the redistribution of money from the taxpayers to the tax receivers. Twelve percent of the state’s revenue is spent for the benefit for all New Jersey citizens and 88 percent is spent on favored groups within the state.

Unbelievable isn’t it? And just think your local government spending is no different. Have we reached the “tipping point” yet guys?

How does Codey’s budget balancing act shake out? Well, let’s first look at the favored groups that receive an increase in state spending:
  • $289 million increase for Medicaid including long term care services
  • $204 million for local teacher fringe costs including pensions, post retirement medical and social security taxes paid by the State
  • $140 million for salary increases for State employees as a result of contractual obligations
  • $102 million for State employee health benefits, including retirees
  • $94 million for child welfare reform and other increases for the Office of Children Services (which includes DYFS)
  • $84 million for increased costs for school construction
  • $64 million for Higher Education fringes and salary funding
  • $59 million for Education Opportunity Aid for Abbott Districts and the expected Abbott Preschool enrollment increase
  • $53 million to address the gap between federal TANF funds and ongoing welfare program commitments
  • $36.8 million to meet rising costs for the General Assistance and Supplemental Security Income programs
  • $26.8 million to increase funding for community mental health funding in the Department of Human Services
  • $25 million increase for the senior/disabled property tax freeze program
  • $23.4 million to expand and annualize prior year commitments for the Developmentally Disabled
  • $20 million for State employee pension increases
  • $9.5 million for Higher Education Tuition Aid Grants

Now take a look at how the governor intends to pay for the increase in spending. As Acting Governor Codey says, “only $505 million of this amount will come from increases in taxes paid by individuals and businesses.” Of course the Acting Governor doesn’t count the $1.2 billion tax increase caused by the elimination of the property tax rebates to the majority of people. Did someone say fuzzy math?

  • $1.2 billion reduction to homestead rebates/SAVER based on program changes and under-spending of current year appropriations ($140 million)
  • $275 million will be realized from modifying the State sales tax to provide a more equitable tax treatment of similar products and recognizing the erosion of the sales tax base due to the impact of technology and a movement to a service economy
  • $130 million from eliminating the existing property tax deduction for those taxpayers with incomes above $200,000 and from eliminating the exclusion for up to $20,000 in retirement income for taxpayers with over $100,000 in income
  • $50 million will be generated from a 2% gross receipts tax on the cable industry which will be structured to achieve equality in consumer services offered by the telecommunications industry
  • $25 million from a change in the Transfer Inheritance Tax structure
  • $25 million from a proposed change in the Realty Transfer Tax.



11 Comments:

At 11:19 PM, Blogger Ken Adams said...

It took a while, but I've got my take posted over at SmadaNek. (this would be easier if you enabled Trackback).

 
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