Category: Press Release

Ciattarelli: Count me out for any immediate 23 cent gas tax increase

Press Release – Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-Somerset) issued the following statement today:

“It seems like what we needed all these years for there to be ‘tax reform’ is a Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) crisis.

Jack Ciattarelli

“While we absolutely need a reliable, pay-as-you-go funding source for the TTF, most in Trenton still willfully ignore the other side of the equation – innovative and fair approaches to better control and prioritize spending. Until we get serious about both, we will not fix the state’s fiscal crisis.

“Certainly, there is something in this new TTF deal for everyone – the poor (EITC), the well-off (estate tax), retirees, veterans, etc. However, what we really need is comprehensive tax reform that is revenue neutral and economy stimulating. Yes, eliminating estate taxes and increasing retirement income exclusions are a good start. A great finish would be allowing for the carryforward of capital losses, never taxing the gain on the sale of a primary residence (or second home if it has never been used for commercial purposes) and making the first $1 to $5 million of gain on the sale of a small/family business tax-free. These tax cuts can be paid for by restructuring our tax rates and closing the combined reporting loophole for corporations. We should then look to phase out the corporate business tax over a 10-year period.

“In addition, we need reform school funding, modify post-retirement healthcare benefits for public employees and make our pension system solvent. This would ultimately reduce property taxes, which is everyone’s #1 concern.

“Dating back to 2012, I advocated for a responsible approach to funding the TTF. This new TTF deal, however, is more seductive than compelling.

“I cannot bring myself to solve the TTF, which is in crisis due to the irresponsibility of Trenton politicians, by now increasing the gas tax 23 cents. That is 164% overnight. This increase will also significantly raise the cost of numerous products and services New Jerseyans buy every single day.

“The new TTF deal is also terribly flawed. For example, a retired couple making $100,000 in annual retirement income will pay no income tax, but a middle class couple with two kids making $80,000 annually will pay income tax? Where’s the social and economic justice in that? Only in Trenton.”

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Bramnick can’t support TTF deal without broad-based tax relief

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick commented today on the Democratic leaders’ new deal to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund without a sales tax cut.

“There are not enough votes to pass the Prieto-Sweeney bill,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “We need compromise that includes a broad-based tax reduction for all New Jerseyans.”

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Dancer introduces bill protecting NJ schools’ federal aid and students’ privacy rights

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Ron Dancer introduced legislation committing the legal assistance of the attorney general to New Jersey schools threated with the loss of federal funding for failing to meet the Obama administration’s new guidelines for transgender students provided our schools are fully compliant with New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination.

Ron Dancer

“We are witnessing an unprecedented overreach by the federal government,” said Dancer (R—Ocean). “Schools in New Jersey have educated students of all races, religions and genders, without discrimination, for decades. In 2006, New Jersey amended the Law Against Discrimination to specifically provide that “Gender Identity or Expression” is now a protected class against discrimination.”

Last month, in a letter to more than 16,000 school districts that receive some form of federal funding, the Federal Department of Education declared that requiring transgender students to use same-sex restroom facilities violates Title IX, the 1972 law prohibiting discrimination based on sex. The guidance letter suggests that schools failing to follow the guidelines risk losing federal money.

Under Dancer’s bill (A3976), should the State’s Attorney General find that the policy of a school on the treatment of transgender students is in compliance with New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination, then the state’s top legal talents from the attorney general’s office will be ready to defend our schools from having its’ federal aid reduced or eliminated.

“This legislation will not only further New Jersey’s public policy on protecting all students against discrimination, but at the same time, recognize and protect the privacy rights of all students as well,” said Dancer. “No student should be accessing same-sex facilities, such as, bath rooms, showers and locker rooms as a thrill seeker for the sole purpose of violating the privacy rights of another student.”

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Ciattarelli says revitalization of Jersey City demonstrates need for school funding reform

Jack Ciattarelli

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli issued a statement today on how the renaissance of Jersey City is positive proof of the need for a better way to fund New Jersey schools that is fair to all taxpayers:

“Every now and then Jersey City’s mayor will boast of the renaissance in Jersey City, which is indeed great news. Case in point is a recent e-newsletter, in which the mayor said:

‘Without increasing taxes, we have been able to hire 150 additional police officers, increase the city’s open space by 10%, implement the state’s first paid sick leave policy, increase minimum wage for all city employees, and construct housing for homeless veterans. We have also been able to lead the state in the number of construction starts, and have created more jobs than any other large city in New Jersey.’

“What the mayor never boasts, despite Jersey City’s economic fortunes, is weaning his school district off a state subsidy paid for by the taxpayers of New Jersey.

“Of Jersey City’s annual $665 million school budget, $420 million or 63 percent is paid for by citizens around the state – citizens who pay exorbitantly high property taxes because they’re subsidizing Jersey City’s school system. After all subsidies, Jersey City pays less than 20 cents on the dollar for its schools.

“The mayor’s boasts, which only add insult to injury to taxpayers across the state, call attention to just how terribly flawed and blatantly unfair the current distribution of state school aid is. And it is exactly the reason we desperately need school funding reforms that are fair to taxpayers across the state.”

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Rumana lauds state’s record job growth

Scott Rumana

Press Release – Assembly Republican Whip Scott Rumana (R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris) today said the latest job creation report released by the state Department of Labor which shows that a record 22,200 jobs were created in June is great news for New Jersey.

“The way to make New Jersey affordable for all residents is to implement policies and pass legislation that creates opportunity for job growth,” said Rumana, a member of the state’s Red Tape Review Commission. “Policies that cut burdensome regulations, coupled with incentives and a focus on business growth and job creation, are paying huge dividends for our state and its economy.”

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), June was the best month for private sector job growth in New Jersey in 20 years.

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O’Scanlon excited about record job growth in June and overall worker confidence in New Jersey

Declan O'Scanlon

Press Release – Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, the Republican budget officer, commented on the state Department of Labor report today that 22,200 jobs were created last month.

“It is great news that businesses have the confidence in our state economy to build the greatest level of growth in almost 20 years,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “It’s even more exciting that New Jersey workers are significantly more confident to find a job here than nationally. The fact that people in our state are more excited to find or get a better job here rather than the rest of the country shows we need to continue with the pro-business policies set by Governor Christie and not change course.”

According to state Department of Labor’s release, the national labor force participation rate is only 62.7 percent while New Jersey’s is 64.2 percent. The labor force participation rate measures the number of people employed or actively seeking work, and New Jersey’s rate has continued to exceed the national rate.

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Bramnick praises largest month of single private sector job creation since 1996

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick said today’s announcement by the state Department of Labor that New Jersey gained 22,200 jobs in June – the best month for private sector job growth in 20 years – is great news for the people who live and work in the state.

“The business community realizes that Governor Christie still has their back and his policies continue to prove it,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “After fully recovering all the jobs lost during the recession earlier this year, this is a strong and encouraging trend.”

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Bramnick condemns attack in France

Jon Bramnick

Press Release – Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick this morning commented on the horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians.

“This is an attack on free people everywhere,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed, and we wish a full recovery for the many wounded.”

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Rible applauds affordable housing ruling

Press Release – Assembly Republican Conference Leader Dave Rible applauded the ruling by the Appellate Division that towns do not need to provide affordable housing for the time known as the “gap period.”

The ruling overturns a February 2016 decision by a Superior Court judge in Ocean County which held municipalities responsible for providing affordable housing during the period between 1999 and 2015 in which there were no mandated quotas.

Dave Rible

“This is great news for area towns who are already being forced to comply with unrealistic affordable housing requirements,” Rible (R-Monmouth) said. “Many towns in the area feel incredible pressure to yield to unreasonable demands and this decision alleviates some of the burden of being forced to provide additional affordable housing.”

Monday’s decision states that the procedure for determining how the towns should accommodate for the gap period should be left up to the Legislature and Governor.

“While I still support scrapping the affordable housing requirements altogether, I’m very pleased that this ruling will stop the courts from forcing additional irresponsible, overreaching mandates on towns,” he continued. “These housing decisions should be left to elected officials who see firsthand how devastating these mandates can be for towns throughout the area.

“I have been arguing for years that these decisions should be left to the locally elected officials so we can keep our towns’ best interests in mind. This decision brings a sense of relief that we can finally stop adding to the overwhelming burden on our local taxpayers with these costly affordable housing mandates.”

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Rumana statement on court’s affordable housing decision

Scott Rumana

Press Release – Assembly Republican Whip Scott T. Rumana (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic) released the statement below following a New Jersey Appellate Division decision today not to mandate retroactive affordable housing obligations:

“This decision is welcome news as it will significantly reduce the number of housing units that municipalities will be required to build. For towns preparing to meet their court mandated affordable housing requirements, today’s ruling reduces pressure on them. It will help hundreds of municipalities across the state preserve open space while potentially reducing property tax growth, traffic, and flooding concerns. Today’s ruling brings welcome clarity to the discussion.”

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