Category: Clips

Ciattarelli pleased N.J. Racing Commission opens access to off-track wagering application

Packet Online -

The N.J. Racing Commission has decided to make public the application for an off-track wagering facility in Hillsborough.

After final public comments were received by Thursday’s deadline, there was nothing new that required investigation, so the commission decided to make the application subject to Open Public Records Act requests, said Frank Zanzuccki, executive director of the commission.

The state’s sixth off-track wagering facility is proposed for a former restaurant on Route 206 at Park Avenue, just south of Brown Avenue.

Jack Ciattarelli

The commission held a required public hearing in Hillsborough on July22. Members of the public, as well as Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and Hillsborough Mayor Douglas Tomson, pressed the commission to make the document public.

Mr. Zanzuccki said Friday the commission heard the public “loud and clearly” and after the investigation was closed saw no reason not to open access to the application. On Friday afternoon, there had been three requests, he said — one from the mayor, one from the township government for both a printed and electronic copy, and one from an individual.

Under the OPRA law, the commission has up to seven days to honor a request and charge a fee for photocopies.

Mr. Tomson said he would stop at the Trenton offices of the commission on Monday and pore through the 500-page document. He was hopeful he would get a printed copy, too, he said, and repeated his pledge to scan and post the document on the township web site as soon as possible.

The OTW would be called “Favorites at Hillsborough Township” and have separate but connected restaurant and wagering areas. There would be simulcasts of standardbred and thoroughbred horse racing from around the country most days of the year. A $20 million annual handle is projected.

The Racing Commission must act on the request between 30 to 60 days from July 30. The commission is likely to address the application at its meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at Monmouth Park, said Mr. Zanzuccki.

Mr. Ciattarelli said in a statement, “While the public comment period has ended, the Racing Commission made the right decision to allow the public to review the developer’s application. The OTW approval process has been more than frustrating and the lack of transparency has only added insult to injury.

“The decision to release the application, though late in coming, is a positive development,” said Mr. Ciattarelli. “Like any other application that goes before a local land use board, citizens should be allowed to review this OTW application.”

Last year, Mr. Ciattarelli introduced legislation (A-3127) that would reverse a section of law changed in 2011 that eliminates a municipality’s right to have the final say whether an off-track wagering business could operate within its borders.

The bill, co-sponsored by Mr. Ciattarelli’s district colleagues, Senator “Kip” Bateman and Assemblywoman Donna Simon, restores the ability of municipalities to reject a proposed off-track wagering facility, and to remove the five-year tax exemption, abatement, or payment in lieu of taxes for privately operated off-track wagering facilities. The bill has not advanced.

“Home rule empowers communities to have a say in what happens in their town and should be respected,” Mayor Tomson said in a statement, “Permitting an OTW facility to operate in Hillsborough, or any town, should be decided by the municipality, not the Racing Commission. This may work in some towns, but not necessarily in Hillsborough. I appreciate the commission disclosing the application so the public can examine it thoroughly.”

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Fiocchi Leads Call for Improved Broadband, Telecommunications for Rural South Jersey Communities

Cape May County Herald -

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

Assembly Republican Sam Fiocchi met with local elected officials and the chairman of the Board of Public Utilities to discuss ongoing frustration with making phone calls and connecting to the Internet in South Jersey.

“In the rest of the state, people can take landline and cell phone service for granted, and broadband service is a necessity,” said Fiocchi, R – Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic. “Here in South Jersey, phone service is unreliable and broadband Internet is non-existent in many communities.”

Recently, Fiocchi brought these issues to the attention of Gov. Christie, who helped arrange today’s meeting with BPU Chairman Richard Mroz.

“Persistent problems with telecommunications, landline and cell reliability, and widespread copper wire problems throughout the District are all critical concerns that negatively impact the quality of life, productivity and safety of our residents,” Fiocchi said. “With today’s technology, there is no excuse for failing to provide reliable access to the Internet and voice communication.”

Fiocchi sponsors two bills to improve telecommunications in the 1st District:

A-3818 provides a corporation business tax credit for investment in infrastructure for the expansion of broadband telecommunications in municipalities with less than 10,000 residents

A-2429 establishes a one-year moratorium on the replacement of copper-based landline telephone service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service

Also participating in the meeting were local elected officials:

• Mayor Stephen Teasenfitz, Estell Manor

• Mayor Ken Haser, Weymouth Twp.

• Mayor Bruce Hankins, Hopewell

• Mayor Bob Campbell, Downe Twp.

• Committeeman Greg Facemyer, Hopewell

• Barbara Stratton, official from Stow Creek

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Handlin op-ed: What can N.J. do to improve its reputation?

Asbury Park Press -

Amy Handlin

We should be used to it by now. New Jersey has been the butt of jokes since before Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states.

But it still hurts to hear New Jersey spotlighted as the “least liked state in America” in a survey released by, an Internet polling website. The Asbury Park Press ran a story about the poll under the headline: “They hate us, they really hate us.”

Why do people (at least the 980 people who took the survey) harbor such disdain for New Jersey?

Our reputation, it seems, precedes us. Americans who have never enjoyed our beaches or taken in the beauty of the Highlands and Pine Barrens are well aware of our infamous baggage: mobsters, Superfund sites, overflowing landfills, public corruption and high taxes.

As every state does, we have our fair share of all these things. However, they do not define New Jersey.

Comedians, movies and TV shows have cultivated an image of our state that makes everyone laugh.

But for New Jersey citizens, there’s nothing funny about the disparaging wisecracks.

Perception is reality for many, and the constant drumbeat of negativity undermines our efforts to attract jobs, businesses investments and tourists.

Competition is fierce for all these resources, and it’s easy to write off a state purportedly overrun by crooks and polluted by toxic waste.

There’s not much we can do to stop the late-night TV crowd from going for cheap laughs at our expense. But we can improve New Jersey’s standing if legislators of both parties work together to make the Garden State more affordable for residents and more attractive for job creators.

My colleagues and I have introduced dozens of proposals to cut taxes — including taxes on property, purchases, businesses and estates. Yes, it is possible: New Jersey can be known as the state where government understands that the money in a paycheck is best spent by the person who earned it.

We can erase some of the “Soprano State” notoriety by reforming the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NJ Transit and other “shadow government” agencies that spend millions in taxpayer funds with inadequate transparency, accountability or financial controls.

Too often, such quasi-public bodies are better known for cronyism, political patronage and wasteful spending than for delivering quality services.

New Jersey’s poor fiscal image can also be restored with a bipartisan solution to our now-infamous pension crisis.

Fixing the system is not optional; we have a moral obligation to protect these funds for public employees who earned them and depend on them.

Our state has an opportunity to become a model for pension rescue across the country.

There’s a lot to be proud of in New Jersey. For starters, we have a coastline and landscape of unparalleled beauty; a diverse and highly educated workforce; a vibrant, innovative business community; and a can-do spirit that is the envy of the nation.

New Jersey has everything — except a good reputation. We deserve better. We can do better.

Amy Handlin is a Republican state assemblywoman whose 13th legislative district includes 16 Monmouth County municipalities. She is deputy Republican leader. She also is a marketing professor at Monmouth University.

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O’Scanlon op-ed: Not all Republicans see eye to eye on issues of homosexuality and addiction

Star Ledger -

Declan O'Scanlon

Last year, the New Jersey legislature voted on a measure that prohibited the infliction of “sexual orientation reparative therapy” on young individuals of our state. This is the frequently torturous “treatment” designed to turn the gay straight. Although I abstained on the vote because of a potential technical issue, I vocally supported the initiative. Recently, the debate on this issue has re-emerged as several high-profile national and local Republicans have discussed both this issue and homosexuality. Their words demand comment.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, taking issue with policies prohibiting this “treatment,” justified his position last year by suggesting that homosexuality was simply a destructive lifestyle choice, which he went on to say was just like alcoholism. Perry managed to insult and infuriate the entire gay community along with every member of every family who has ever dealt with addiction issues – all at once. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon also vying for the Republican presidential nomination, suggested that being gay was a choice – as evidenced by supposed prison conversions. The most recent commentary came from Congressman Scott Garrett (R-5th District), who expressed a refusal to support gay candidates and said the Republican Party shouldn’t either.

These men each have a long list of substantial accomplishments and I bet I agree with them on most policy issues. But on the issues of homosexuality and addiction each of them has demonstrated a stunning level of closed-minded ignorance that – notwithstanding their apparent inability to genuinely embrace reality – most people of average intelligence would instinctively know to try to conceal.

Being a proud Republican I feel it necessary to douse these brush fires of ignorance and intolerance with some truth and reality – and let folks know that the ignorant positions espoused aren’t representative of our party as a whole. Gov. Chris Christie, who signed the ban on sexual reorientation therapy and supports treatment over incarceration for the addicted, is right on both counts. Addiction is an affliction, homosexuality is a state of being – we must battle the former and embrace the latter.

Regarding being gay, one need not be a brain surgeon – we’ll try to ignore the irony that one of the ignorant utterers actually is a brain surgeon – to understand that the dynamics of sexual orientation are genetically ingrained in each of us, just like the color of one’s skin. Expressing sentiments that are completely out of touch with reality damages our credibility even outside the communities we are directly insulting.

Editorial: Congressman Scott Garrett takes his bigotry out of the closet

The premises of these beliefs are convoluted and contradictory: homosexuality and addiction are both apparently “destructive lifestyle choices” and afflictions for which someone might seek a “cure.” Why someone might seek a cure for a lifestyle choice is a mystery. I know of no gay folks who feel compelled to alter those to whom they might be attracted, at least without drive to do so other than that which our society has inflicted upon them. To suggest that homosexuality itself is something akin to addiction – and then that both homosexuality and addiction are destructive lifestyle choices – is completely outrageous. To suggest that we should reject candidates based on their sexual orientation is just as offensive.

Addiction is in fact an affliction. The problem isn’t a matter of resolve or lack of character or strength. I will concede that it is hard to understand a condition that requires the afflicted to proactively participate in their own destruction. But I have had firsthand experience with addiction. And I have spoken with parents who have watched their children fall prey to the scourge that is addiction. Try to tell them that their slowly dying children simply need to make better lifestyle choices and they’ll spit in your face – and you’ll deserve it.

In my case, I spent the first twenty years of my life watching my mother destroy herself with alcohol. She was brilliant and beautiful and uproariously funny. She didn’t choose to die. She was taken by a scourge which compels the afflicted to commit suicide as their loved ones watch helplessly. That is addiction – slow motion suicide. It is no one’s lifestyle choice.

No candidate or party is right all the time on all of the issues. But the time for debate of these two issues was over long ago. We must uniformly – across party and socioeconomic and racial and religious lines – agree on that. We won’t run out of legitimate things to debate. Of that we can all celebrate.

Declan O’Scanlon is a Republican representing Monmouth County in the New Jersey Assembly.

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Rumpf, Gove Call for Action on Financial Exploitation Measure

Source: The SandPaper -

DiAnne Gove

Brian Rumpf

State Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove of the 9th Legislative District are calling for action on an initiative that would create the new offense of theft by financial exploitation of a vulnerable person. The offense would apply to a person in a position of trust – such as a relative, home health aide or joint-tenant – who commits a theft against a senior citizen or an individual with a disability.

“Seniors are being victimized for financial exploitation and fraud at an increasing alarming rate,” Connors, Rumpf and Gove said in a joint statement. “In a recent statement, New Jersey Bureau of Securities Chief Laura H. Posner warned that financial fraud is one of the fastest-growing forms of elder abuse and that a staggering one in five Americans 65 or older are victims of this crime, costing more than $2.6 billion per year.

“It’s a disturbing reality, but seniors’ heavy reliance on others for tending to their financial matters makes that an easier target to prey upon. Penalties for this crime must, therefore, be enhanced as an effective deterrent against this escalating form of senior abuse.”

The legislators added, “For acts of theft by financial exploitation of a vulnerable person, the penalty would be upgraded to a crime of the fourth degree from a disorderly persons’ offense or petty disorderly persons’ offense. Otherwise, it is a crime one degree higher than the most serious underlying theft offense.”

Bills S-925 and A-738 are currently awaiting consideration by, respectively, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee

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Casagrande calls for slot machines at race tracks to help sagging racing industry

Source: Asbury Park Press -

Showplace Farms, a training center here that houses more than 400 horses, will close on Oct. 1, officials said Tuesday in an announcement that clouded what was supposed to be a celebration this week of New Jersey’s horse-racing industry.

Caroline Casagrande

“There is bipartisan support for expanding gaming in New Jersey,” Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, R-Monmouth said in a statement, favoring slot machines at Monmouth Park, Freehold Raceway and the Meadowlands. “The Legislature needs to act now, before another horse farm closes for good and the future of this critical industry is further jeopardized.”


The move prompted industry and elected officials once again to call on New Jersey to allow gambling at racetracks. That would help increase the purses, attract more thoroughbreds and stabilize New Jersey horse farms, they said.

Showplace Farms sprawls out over 150 acres in Western Monmouth County. Started 35 years ago, it includes racetracks, paddocks, a therapy swimming pool and a blacksmith and tack shop.

Its closing comes as all eyes are on Monmouth Park this weekend, where American Pharoah, racing’s first Triple Crown winner in 37 years, is scheduled to compete in the William Hill Haskell Invitational.

The race horse industry in 2009 was estimated to generate $780 million a year and account for 7,000 jobs, according to a Rutgers University study.

But the state stopped enhancing purses in 2010, and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority handed over horse-racing operations to the private sector, the authors said.

The total purses paid dropped from $47.5 million in 2010 to $22.7 million in 2013, and total wagers dropped from $480.7 million in 2010 to $266.4 million in 2013, according to the report.

The closing of Showplace renewed calls from some lawmakers for New Jersey to expand gambling beyond Atlantic City and the Internet.

“There is bipartisan support for expanding gaming in New Jersey,” Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, R-Monmouth said in a statement, favoring slot machines at Monmouth Park, Freehold Raceway and the Meadowlands. “The Legislature needs to act now, before another horse farm closes for good and the future of this critical industry is further jeopardized.”

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DiMaio: More irresponsible budget gimmicks from Dems

Asbury Park Press op-ed by John DiMaio -

John DiMaio

Gov. Chris Christie has signed another responsible state budget without raising taxes, and the uproar about funding for public workers’ pensions has hushed for the time being. However, the underfunded system is an issue that requires bipartisan attention from the Legislature to prevent bigger problems in the future.

The drum beat from the Democrats has been as persistent as it has been disingenuous. They made empty promises about funding the pension system, all the while criticizing a governor who has contributed more money in pension payments in the last five years than the last five governors combined.

In fact, the fantasy budget the Democrats passed without a single vote from a Republican in the Assembly or the Senate threatened the state’s fragile economy with a massive $1 billion-plus tax increase on job-creators, but that still fell short of the pension payment goal.

The FY16 budget signed by Christie dedicates $1.3 billion — the largest pension payment in New Jersey history — to the under-funded pension system. This is a significant step in the right direction, but those of us in the Legislature have more work to do.

I stand with the hard-working New Jerseyans who have earned their pensions, and I am dedicated to protecting them. Funding the pension systems, abandoned by Democrat administrations for more than a decade, is imperative.

However, until both sides of the Legislature’s aisle can agree on the priorities, we will be fighting the same pension battles every June. Relying on what they’ve always done best, the Democrats want to fill the pension hole with shiny new tax dollars.

The ink has barely dried on Christie’s veto of billion-dollar tax increases targeting the very people who are critical to New Jersey’s rebound from the long recession — our job creators.

New Jersey is infamous for our high taxes — income taxes, property taxes, business taxes, estate and inheritance taxes. We are ranked at the top for highest taxes, and at the bottom for worst job environment. The last thing working families need in this state is even more taxes piled on their backs.

A better path for New Jersey — a path to renewed affordability and prosperity — requires the Democrats to join the Republican caucus in a commitment to fiscal self-control.

In the closing weeks of the fiscal year, with the Legislature’s attention focused on the budget and the pension funding challenge, the Democrats managed to rush almost 50 new, recurring spending bills through the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Conservatively, these bills, if enacted, would cost New Jersey taxpayers more than $50 million. Realistically, the cost to taxpayers could be many hundreds of thousands. In fact, a single piece of legislation has a potential fiscal impact of $300 million.

I hope these bills never get to the Assembly floor, and it is unlikely they will ever be signed by Christie. Yet when legislative leadership should have been searching every line of the budget for cuts to help replenish the retirement pools, they were instead entertaining spending fantasies.

The Appropriations Committee met twice in late June, hastily ramming through no less than 49 spending bills despite Assembly rules limiting Appropriations to 12 bills in a single committee day. Among these ultra-important spending bills were multi-million dollar measures to fund zero percent home loans to some public workers, to serve more free food in our schools and to provide electronic monitoring services for offenders.

It’s time for the Legislature to give pensions higher priority than spending bills. As a body, we must learn to restrain ourselves from adding recurring costs to every budget when we should be taking the money that we do build up over the year and using it to help fund the pensions.

The Democrats launched a scheme to mandate the state to make the entire $1.3 billion contribution this month. Since the state doesn’t have that kind of money on hand, their game plan was to borrow the money with short-term bonds, and invest the money. Returns would pay for the debt, and the proceeds would help fill the gap in the pension system.

It was a gimmick solution, not unlike placing taxpayer money on red and spinning the wheel in Atlantic City. Expensive debt has been a driving factor in the downgrades of New Jersey’s bond ratings, forcing us to pay even more money for short-term access to funding. This high-risk gamble in an unstable market place could spell disaster for New Jersey taxpayers.

New Jersey’s public workers and taxpayers deserve better. It is time for the Legislature to get serious about funding the pension without breaking the backs of middle-class families.

Responsible and sustainable spending cuts, and a resolve to freeze everything but the most crucial new spending is the only way to bring New Jersey back into balance.

John DiMaio, R- Warren, Hunterdon and Somerset, is a Republican assemblyman who represents the 23rd Legislative District.

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Munoz bill provides shield for sexual assault survivors

Source: [Op-Ed by Nancy Munoz] -

Nancy Munoz

It was a little less than a year ago when disturbing images of NFL player Ray Rice’s domestic abuse thrust violence towards women into our national conscience. While the news headlines and nightly cable news discussions on the topic have subsided to a degree, combating the problems of domestic assault and sexual assault remain in the forefront of my agenda.

The Legislature recently passed A-4078, of which I was a prime sponsor, known as the “Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act of 2015.” Experts in the field of sexual violence state that one of the biggest hurdles to combating sexual assault is the lack of reporting by the victims. The complex emotions that assault victims may experience, including guilt, shame, embarrassment, and fear, all contribute to the failure to press charges against their attacker.

RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, estimates that 68 percent of sexual assaults in the United States are not reported to authorities, with a resultant 98 percent of assailants never spending a day in jail and free to assault again. Prior to the passage of A-4078, sexual assault victims were unable to get protection if they had not pressed charges; with passage of the Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act of 2015, the courts may issue a temporary protective order regardless of whether the victim has filed criminal charges.

The bill prohibits the alleged offender from having any contact or communication, including personal, written, telephone, or via electronic device, with victims and their family members, employers, and employees. A-4078 was passed by the Assembly in February 2015, and passed by the Senate last month. I anticipate that the bill will be signed into law soon.

I recently had the honor of accepting an appointment by State Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner to the Ad Hoc Committee on Domestic Violence. The committee includes representatives from the three branches of government, with one member of each party from both houses of the Legislature. The twenty-seven person committee represents a wide range of backgrounds and experience with domestic violence, including judges, lawyers, law enforcement, and New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women. We have met and are continuing to meet to critically analyze the State’s efforts and policies on combating violence and aiding victims, looking at what we do well in the State and what could be improved. The committee is working to draft policies and legislation, and make recommendations to the court system to provide excellent and consistent services across the State.

As part of my commitment to addressing the issue of domestic violence, I hosted a roundtable discussion at Kean University on May 27th with stakeholders from the profession of nursing, including chief nursing officers and hospital executives, school nurses, advanced practice psychiatric nurses, nursing educators, nurse attorneys, and the NJ Coalition for Battered Women. As nurses are largest number of healthcare providers in the US, they are often the first professional interface with a victim of sexual or domestic violence—whether as a patient in the emergency room, or through contact during care for themselves or family members. It is imperative that all nurses are properly educated and able to handle this delicate situation.

The topics discussed include current hospital policies, course requirements at our schools of nursing, and issues concerning protection of our young victims in the school system. The goal of our members is to create an atmosphere where victims of domestic violence know they can openly discuss this issue with any nurse, and to create a consistent education model for nurses at all levels. We are also looking at hospital policies that work well for the victims, and can be extended across the State. The group will continue to work to reform policies, expand education and training for nursing students and active nurses, and make recommendations to the Board of Nursing.

I am extremely proud of the work we are doing in the State on the issue of domestic and sexual violence. As a member of the Assembly Women and Children Committee and the Health Committee, I will continue to work on policies to protect women, men and children who are victims. The ad-hoc Committee on Domestic Violence and the members of the Nursing Roundtable will continue to work on recommendations to protect all victims. We still have work to do, and I remain determined to make sure New Jersey does all it can to protect and support victims.

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Bramnick supports landscape choice without government interference

Source: The Star-Ledger -

What does Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, the Republican leader of the Assembly, have in common with a nature-loving hippie?

Jon Bramnick

The answer: They both see the good sense in allowing Jersey homeowners to turn their yards into miniature nature preserves without running afoul of the local code enforcement officer.

Bramnick (R-Union) has just put in a bill that would offer a legal shield to those who replace grass lawns with a richer variety of native plants that can provide better homes for bees, butterflies, and other critters that can find no niche in the neatly manicured lawns that dominate suburbia.

A sweeping, manicured lawn, is the landscaping equivalent to driving a Hummer.

Consider the benefits: No fertilizers running into local streams when it rains. No lawnmowers spewing fumes. No weed whackers. And a new bountiful look that breaks from the tight-wad feel of so many suburbs.

Bramnick was inspired by his wife, Patricia Brentano, who has turned their front lawn into a mini-preserve. The neighbors, it turns out, don’t mind a bit.

“I’m just keeping the government out of your face if you want to do it,” says Bramnick (R-Union).

When you see a sweeping, manicured lawn, don’t consider it a thing of beauty. It is the landscaping equivalent to driving a Hummer. Bramnick’s bill would allow you to make a different choice.

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GOP Assemblyman Ciattarelli targets Jersey City

PolitickerNJ -

In a potential 2017 precursor to a general election for governor, a Republican lawmaker aimed today to unhorse the hard-charging Democratic Mayor from Hudson County.

Jack Ciattarelli

On the heels of an attack earlier this year by an Assembly colleague and doing his own part to muddy Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16), said Jersey City losing $80 million in property taxes due to tax abatements exemplifies a broken school funding system.

The assemblyman from Hillsborough noted that Jersey City’s abatements or payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) are long-term tax breaks given to developers, allowing them to pay a fixed amount instead of the normal property tax rate. The city shares five percent of the PILOT revenue with the county. Most times, the school district receives very little or nothing.

“This report reveals the tip of an iceberg that is vast and mostly underwater,” said Ciattarelli, who is in GOP conversations as a possible 2017 candidate for governor. “Short-term property tax abatements, under very special circumstances, may have their place. What’s happening in Jersey City and elsewhere is crony capitalism at its worst and an injustice to all New Jersey taxpayers.

“Jersey City can afford to siphon property tax revenues from their schools because the state provides such large subsidies,” he added. “In Jersey City, the state contributes 60 percent of its school funding. This subsidy is so overly generous that local taxpayers pay only 15 cents on the dollar for their schools.”

Fulop’s own statewide designs are well-documented by this website.

“At a time when the state is experiencing a painful squeeze on its budget and can’t afford to make the full teachers’ pension payment, the abatements exploit the state school funding formula,” Ciattarelli said. “If communities want to provide tax abatements to encourage development, they should fund them from municipal and county taxes, not school property taxes.”

Following up on a face to face case he made to teachers last month, the Republican Assemblyman laid out two parts of his comprehensive proposal for pension reform that address the area of school funding and abatements:

No community is allowed to fund less than 25 percent of their school budget through the local tax levy (some communities fund less than 15 percent of their school budget, while others fund more than 90 percent); and
No community whose local school budget is funded more than 50 percent by federal and state aid can abate school property taxes on new development.

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