Asking again, 5 questions for the Kelley, Rodgers, and Schmidt campaign

Back in June when they first announced their candidacies I optimistically posted 5 questions for the Democratic Party’s challengers to Caldwell’s incumbent mayor and council. Alas, like their 2 cohorts Messrs. Lace and Cole they maintained radio silence rather than engage in a dialog with a constituent.

But I recently noticed on their Facebook page how they’re promising to return phone calls and emails “immediately.” Hmm, said I, shall I try again? Yes! Yes I will.

So here goes.

  1. How will you meaningfully reduce the crushing property tax burden here in Caldwell? And how does your solution jive with Councilman Lace’s philosophical thought experiment espousing a local income tax for Caldwell? Is that something we should be looking forward to?
  2. Upon taking office Governor Murphy immediately raised the sales tax, the income tax, corporate taxes, and the gas tax. And then he said he’s “not done raising taxes yet.” Do you support all these new taxes? How much taxation is enough?
  3. Do you support Governor Murphy’s initiative to make New Jersey a so-called “sanctuary state,” and if elected will you introduce an ordinance to make Caldwell a “sanctuary city?”
  4. Do you approve of the CWCBOE’s proposal to spend $600,000 or more every year to implement Full Day Kindergarten? Do you approve of Governor Murphy’s proposed $500 million dollar school bond issue?
  5. Our town currently has two “vape” shops, conveniently located across the street from each of our Catholic schools (Trinity and The Mount). If Governor Murphy legalizes recreational marijuana these shops will undoubtedly start selling dope almost immediately, well within the perimeters of our “drug free school zones.” Will you commit to banning the sale of marijuana in Caldwell as well as toward encouraging these existing shops to relocate elsewhere?

And there you go folks. Please respond. Thanks.

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Phil Murphy says, no, I’m not done raising taxes yet

Here’s Phil Murphy’s guiding philosophy of government — Somewhere in NJ there is a guy with an extra dollar in his pocket, and that dollar belongs to me.

The ink isn’t even dry on his state budget “compromise, ” you know, the one that raised taxes on pretty much everything under the sun, and Phil’s already got his eye on raising the sales tax.

The argument about whether to raise New Jersey’s sales tax nearly shut down state government earlier this month.

The effort, pushed by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, was blocked in the Legislature by members of his own party. A shutdown was averted, in part, after Murphy conceded to drop his push to revert the tax to 7 percent from its current 6.625 percent.

But the governor still wants the bump in the sales tax.

“We did not undo that in the budget (and) that’s one that I still think we should undo,” Murphy said in an “Ask the Governor” event Monday night.

Are you surprised?

Because I’m not surprised. Not in the least.

The only reason he didn’t hike it during the annual kabuki government shutdown dance is because it’s tied to a poison pill that kills last year’s gas tax increase if the sales tax goes back up. The legislature didn’t have enough time to untangle them what with all the other moving parts that make up the state budget. But now, now they’re ready to play Hose The Taxpayers Again.

The angle is superbly devious too — the sales tax hike is needed for, wait for it, Road Construction. As in the very thing that the gas tax is supposed to be paying for. Emphasis on “supposed to be.” I suspect the recent Janus ruling from SCOTUS has forced Murphy to detour the gas tax money into a new “Save The Unions From Political Oblivion” fund, because the NJEA doesn’t take kindly to having their Trenton clout diminished even just a little.

One wag in the comments to the above article put it like this — I’m waiting for Murphy to figure out how to tax the air. Dude, don’t give him any ideas.

NJ’s new state budget “compromise:” Taxes, with a side of taxes, on top of more taxes

And of course wealth redistribution. Because when you rob Peter to pay Paul you can always count on the support of Paul. So, “free” community college! More money for the teachers union! Bump up the Earned Income Tax Credit so more people get paid not to work!

It’s a joke.

Tax Airbnb. Tax Uber and Lyft. Tax vaping. Tax corporations, because they don’t vote. Tax “multi-millionaires,” because fairness.

The millionaires tax became a “multi-millionaires tax,” as Murphy said. It will now kick in for money earned after the first $5 million.

The vast majority of New Jerseyans won’t pay this increased tax. Only 1,760 taxpayers will pay more.

It is my fervent hope that those 1760 targeted folks emulate David Tepper and hit the Turnpike south asap. Get out while you still can. You know Murphy will be back next year to sock it to you again.

Corporations will pay a 2.5 percent surtax this year and next and then 1.5 percent in years three and four before phasing out entirely.

Any chance Newark had of landing Amazon’s new HQ just went down in flames. Unless, and you know this is coming to the table, Murphy gives them a sweetheart deal. Some corporations are more deserving dontcha know.

But hey, there’s “good news” too. The state won’t shut down so parks and beaches will remain open while we celebrate a national holiday dedicated to a rebellion against excessive taxation. Do you think the Democrats see the irony in that?

Break out the popcorn, Phil Murphy and NJ Democrats are already planning for a government shutdown on June 30th

Phil Murphy’s budget proposals are too left-wing for Steve Sweeney? Apparently so! They held a budget meeting today, and by golly it didn’t end well.

The meeting was hostile, according to three sources with knowledge of the event who would only speak on the condition of anonymity. It ended with an exchange of expletives.

Oh to be a fly on that wall!

“Shortly thereafter” Murphy’s chief counsel sent out a memo ordering state departments to make contingency plans for a government shutdown starting June 30th. Ayup, we’re a month away from the budget deadline and he’s so far afield from his fellow Democrats he’s already preparing for the worst.

Normally NJ budget negotiations are the stuff of inside baseball, arcane, and conducted in literal smoke-filled back rooms. But not this year. This year Murphy’s minions have launched an ad blitz touting his ultra-progressive policies and urging his loyal followers to pressure Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin into bending to his will. The new sheriff in town wants things his way, and compromise isn’t a word in his vocabulary.

On the one hand, it’s gonna be fun to watch this play out.

On the other hand, no matter who wins the taxpayers lose. They’re not arguing about how to cut spending or shrink the budget. They’re arguing about how much they can raise taxes and what pet projects they’ll waste the money on. Murphy wants to fund a laundry list of progressive causes — “free” community college, benefits for illegal aliens, offshore windmills, mass transit, and affordable housing. Sweeney would rather throw even more money at urban schools and toss a few crumbs to senior citizens by reviving the homestead rebate program.

Either way we’ll get hosed by higher sales and income taxes, along with the usual collection of new fees and surcharges.

But hey, this is what you voted for Jersey. And if you can’t go to the beach over the Fourth of July weekend because the government is shut down, don’t come crying to me.

Phil Murphy resurrects the Obamacare Individual Mandate for New Jersey

When I restarted this blog I didn’t intend for it to be All Phil Murphy All The Time. But sheesh, the guy is a one man wrecking crew, hell-bent on ruining life in the Garden State, and he just doesn’t stop, or come up for air.

His latest assault on our freedom? Imposing his own version of the Obamacare Individual Mandate on New Jersey, as in the mandate that was just repealed by Congress is back in force here as if it never left. BOHICA!

And you gotta love the, uh, “objective journalism” at the Newark Star-Ledger where the headline reads “Phil Murphy signs law protecting Obamacare from Trump with N.J. mandate to have health insurance.”

“Protecting Obamacare from Trump?” No bias there!

Oh, but it’s for the good of our state dontcha know, otherwise young and healthy people won’t buy insurance they don’t need. Because the privilege of paying some other guy’s medical bills is why I get up and go to work in the morning, how about you?

But you’ve heard all these arguments before. The Individual Mandate is wildly unpopular, which is why it had to be imposed by judicial fiat in the first place. Socialism — ideas so good they have to be compulsory! And Phil Murphy is determined to impose socialism in every corner of New Jersey. Except his. He already made his millions. Now he’s out to ensure the rest of us won’t get the chance.

The Phil Murphy Effect: Record low number of people like living in New Jersey

Barely half of the people living in New Jersey actually like living here. Which is a record low, thanks in no small part to the joys of Murphyism.

A record low percentage of New Jerseyans say the Garden State is a good place to live, according to a new poll.

The Monmouth University Poll released Tuesday found 54 percent of New Jersey adults say the state is either an excellent (15 percent) or good (39 percent) home, while 29 percent say it’s fair and 17 percent say it’s poor.

That’s the lowest percentage recorded since this poll was started way back in 1980.

Way to go Phil! You “beat” Jim Florio, Jim McGreevey, and Jon Corzine. That’s gotta be worth tagging on your resume.

And what issue dominates the ranking, year after year? Taxes. Led by our state’s highest in the nation property taxes. As in the one item Phil Murphy has guaranteed he’ll make worse, to the tune of at least $1.8 billion in new levies larded onto his fiscal 2019 budget.

Who voted for this turkey?

Because an old line from Ed Koch has never been truer than it is today — “The people have spoken and now they must be punished.” Phil Murphy’s giving it to us, good and hard. And he’s only getting started. #BOHICA

The IRS puts a damper on Phil Murphy’s property tax charity scam

Earlier this month Phil Murphy and his Democratic henchmen in the NJ state legislature created what they call a “workaround” to the $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions that was enacted as part of President Trump’s tax reform package. The SALT deduction is popular in high tax states like NJ where the average taxpayer claimed a deduction of more than $18,000 against his taxable income last year. But it’s unfair to residents of low tax states who end up subsidizing NJ’s profligate spending local governments as they pay more in federal tax on similar gross incomes.

The scheme concocted by Murphy transforms property tax payments into “charitable contributions,” which remain fully deductible.

The new law (S1893) allows municipalities, counties and school districts to set up charitable funds to pay for public services. Residents who donate to the funds can receive a credit of up to 90 percent toward their property tax bills, and those contributions can then be written off as charitable deductions on their federal taxes.

Republicans warned Murphy that property tax payments aren’t really charity. Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll labeled it “tax fraud.” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called the idea “ridiculous.” And acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter expressed skepticism about it when addressing a congressional committee back in February.

Yesterday the IRS officially weighed in, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to let Murphy scam them.

But, on Wednesday, the IRS and Treasury signaled they could take a dim view of states taking this sort of action.

The agencies issued a notice saying that they plan to propose regulations to “help taxpayers understand the relationship between federal charitable contribution deductions and the new statutory limitation on the deduction of state and local taxes.”

“Taxpayers should be mindful that federal law controls the proper characterization of payments for federal income tax purposes,” the notice says.

That’s bureaucrat-eeze for “don’t do that.”

So of course Murphy immediately backed down and vowed to find a way to meaningfully reduce our state’s highest in the nation property tax burden.

Just kidding! He unleashed Josh Gottheimer and Bill Pascrell with threats of, wait for it, lawsuits.

“It’s Jersey. We’re ready for a fight,” said U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-5th Dist., a leading proponent of efforts to use charitable funds as a way to evade the cap.

“It would give some relief to the taxpayers who are being screwed by the Republicans,” Pascrell said. “If the IRS rules it to be unlawful, we’ll have do something else and we’ll see them in court, guaranteed.”

If we’re being screwed by anyone, it’s NJ Democrats, who continually find new and destructive ways to separate us from our hard-earned money. Rather than trying to tamper down NJ’s tax burden Murphy is demanding more than $1.5 billion in new taxes for the upcoming fiscal year. Because Democrats are genetically incapable of cutting spending, but they’re very good at blaming Republicans for the problems they’ve caused.