Nearly 25% of N.J. Residents Lived in Poverty in 2010

This report is more realistic than the federal standard for measuring poverty – which I believe is outright ridiculous no matter where you live in the U.S. – N.J. defines being poor as making less than $36,620 for a family of three — twice the federal poverty rate. New Jersey has a higher cost of living than most other states particularly because our exorbitant property taxes, which also reflect on rental costs.

Nearly a quarter of N.J. residents lived in poverty in 2010, study shows |

There are a number of factors which have contributed to this imbalance in one of the richest states in the nation. But all the factors, fundamentally, find their roots in the complicity of the two dominant political parties in holding wages stagnant and fleecing the public. In other words: A lot of people, even those not comprised in the low 25%, are making too little money and paying too much to the political octopus that rules New Jersey.

Note that the 2000 or so government entities of New Jersey devour more than 10% of the state GDP of about $650 billion. And we do not even have defense expending!

This reality has had two major consequences after two decades or so:

1. A lot of people borrowed beyond their means to maintain the illusion of prosperity.

2. Disposable income plummeted and with it went aggregate demand, thus pushing the economy into an endless period of anemic performance.

Since government – and all its local subdivisions –  also borrowed left and right, New Jersey has entered a period when the high degree of leverage has the effect of quasi paralyzing both the public and private sectors. There are budgetary problems and people are taxed out. Even if millionaires are taxed, as the democrats call for, that additional revenue would amount to considerably less than $1 billion.

The millionaire surtax has become more like a political football to keep the masses distracted and pretend that there is a major difference between the two dominant political parties. It is theatre.

The democrat-proposed increase in the minimum wage – possibly to blunt my message because I am the first who has mentioned minimum wage in the last decade – would be the first in I-don’t-know-how-many-years and it is clearly insufficient to have any economic impact.

Both parties have proposed tax reductions: Christie his ubiquitous income tax across-the-board cut, which of course favors his political base, and the democrats their property tax cut. Both plans are better than nothing; the democrat plan slightly better. But the grand problem is that the state is not in a sound enough fiscal position to – responsibly – adopt either plan.

If a tax cut – any of them – is implemented, it will amount to a tax deferment rather than a tax cut. When such tax becomes due, 10, 20 years from now, it will also come with accrued interest so we will end paying more for this meaningless relief today.

While both political parties endeavor in buttering up the voters in back-to-back election years, I am presenting  – in this website – my program of reforms, which I believe are the minimum essential to save New Jersey.

Citizens of New Jersey beware: Our problems are complex. Any politician that presents a simple solution to a complex problem is eminently dishonest.


Property Taxes for New Jersey Taxpayers Have to Go

To be able to reform our tax system we must reform government itself: We must give a good haircut at the top.

I did my tax appeal in 2010 and settled without going to the tax court. It means that I probably got a bit less of a reduction in the valuation on my home but got it earlier as proceeding to the court would have taken a while. The County Board of Taxation (CBT) used arguments like “the land never goes down in value” which is completely nonsensical. It was really a kangaroo hearing but I got a reduction because they sensed I could go on to court. I could live with the reduction I got and left. As it happened, I was preparing the initial steps of this challenge of running for office.

The prospects of being involved in the side show of the tax court was out of the question. I had to do with what I got at the CBT.

The assessors are given a tremendous leeway with the statutory ability to exclude sales that are considered “distressed” from the price comparison. They are marked with the #26 in the code box of the sales recordings at the CBT. The list of similar properties and their final sale prices are the basis for the entire appeal. By eliminating the lowest priced sales, the assessors, as agents of the municipalities, essentially deprive homeowners of their right to conduct a successful appeal or at the very least they make it as difficult as possible. When one goes to the CBT office and searches for comparable properties, more than half of the listed are labeled code 26.

More tax appeals denied as North Jersey towns reject data on low-priced homes –

So, property taxes for New Jersey taxpayers have to go. They are driving people out of their homes. One never gets to really own one’s property. The drag on the economy is horrendous. The different forms of taxation in New Jersey allow for a shell game that politicians have been playing to perpetuate themselves in office for decades.

In the end, when we add property taxes to all the other taxes we pay, the two political parties are siphoning $58 billion out of New Jersians  every year. That is $58 000 000 000 and still the government is so leveraged that we got our bond ratings reduced last year.

New Jersey’s GDP is $497 billion. Accordingly, the New Jersey State government and its political subdivisions take 11.7% of the GDP and devour it.

The democrats just sounded the idea of having a constitutional amendment to raise the so-called “millionaires tax” raised in spite of Christie’s opposition. If we put aside the fairness issue – the entire tax system in New Jersey is unfair and skewed – the tax raise would amount to about $600 million per year which is about 1% of the total amount of money the state government and all its political subdivisions suck out of us under one pretense or another every year. It is insignificant.

This issue of the millionaires tax is just a gimmick of the two parties to keep everybody distracted from the real issues facing New Jersey. Whether it passes or not, it won’t make much of a difference for the reasons explained in the paragraph above. Now the governor will oppose it and we will have both sides talking about this for the next 18 months. They try to get everyone all flustered about this thing so that we don’t look at the big picture. I we looked at the big picture we would throw both parties out of office and start anew.