Taxpayers, Lawmakers Should Stand United Against Corzine’s Threats
A memo from state Treasurer Bradley Abelow appears to detail how the administration would handle a budget that does not include a sales tax increase. Abelow has ordered three department heads to prepare for cuts of $500 million in school aid, $300 million in municipal aid, $60 million in charity care to hospitals and an unspecified amount of reductions in grants to higher education. Such cuts would undoubtedly lead to a combination of property tax increases and cuts to local services.As we have previously explained, municipal and school aid are flat-funded in the Governor’s 2007 budget plan and therefore do not add one red cent to Corzine’s $2.6 billion in spending increases. With the exception of the Abbott school districts, school aid has not been increased in the previous four years.
"It is disappointing that an administration with so much credibility would issue a threat that is so incredulous," said Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr., a Democrat of Camden County. "This is a curious approach to building consensus."Of course Corzine is not trying to build consensus, he’s trying to threaten and intimidate lawmakers into accepting his spending priorities. Corzine is not acting in good faith, because if he were he would have asked his cabinet to cut programs slated to receive increased funding next year.
Notice Corzine didn’t suggest eliminating the proposed $530 million increase in property tax rebates. Which would you rather have, a $35 increase from his much ballyhooed property tax rebate plan or a 16% increase in your sales taxes?
Meanwhile, Republicans have provided Corzine with a plan of their own to cut $2.2 billion from the Governor's budget plan.
Assembly Republicans offered their own budget plan Friday and said they could get a deal done without raising taxes by cutting more than $2.2 billion from state operations and grants. The Republicans said they found savings by targeting programs they contend are rife with waste, corruption and pork-barrel spending.Which budget would you prefer to see adopted? A budget with greater spending and higher taxes or one funded with existing taxes and higher property tax rebates? In other words, would you prefer the budget Republicans are proposing or the budget Corzine is proposing?
"The culture of corruption in New Jersey has grown and it's everywhere, and it's got to stop," Assemblywoman Alison McHose, R-Sussex, said at a press conference in the State House.
Call, write or email the Governor and your representatives in Trenton and tell them to say no to tax increases and yes to cutting waste and pork barrel spending. Let them know that threatening taxpayers will not be tolerated.
Governor Jon S. Corzine:
Email: Link to email submission form
Address: Office of the Governor - PO Box 001- Trenton, NJ 08625
New Jersey Legislature (Assembly and Senate):
Telephone and Address: Lookup for legislators' address and phone number
Email: Lookup for legislators’ email form