Tag: Jay Webber

Webber bill extending tax checkoff program to benefit autism programs clears Assembly

Assembly Republican Press Release -

The General Assembly today passed legislation by Assemblyman Jay Webber to help taxpayers contribute to autism programs on their state income tax returns.

Jay Webber

“We’re seeing a lot more children diagnosed with autism, and New Jerseyans are looking for a way to help them,” said Webber (R—Morris). “This legislation will help us raise funds to expand programs that help families and extend our reach to the people who need it most.”

The bill (A3267) establishes an “autism programs fund” in the Department of the Treasury, into which taxpayers may deposit a portion of their tax refunds as donations. It requires the Legislature to appropriate all the funds to the Department of Health for distribution to autism programs throughout the state.

“It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s voluntary,” Webber continued. “Check-off programs have generated millions of dollars to support meaningful services without adding taxes or fees. I hope taxpayers keep in mind the need to help families dealing with autism when filing their state income tax return.”

One in 41 children is diagnosed with autism in New Jersey – the state has the highest rate in the nation, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Bramnick, Webber on consequences of massive increase to minimum wage

Source: Excerpt from the Bergen Record -

An Assembly committee on Thursday advanced a bill that would gradually boost New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021.

By a 6-3 party line vote, the Assembly Labor committee moved the bill to a vote by the full Assembly. The Senate Labor committee approved an identical measure on Monday.

Thursday’s vote came after a debate between the Democratic lawmakers who say the bill is needed to create “a livable wage” and Republican assemblymen who questioned the impact the bill will have on job creation.

Speaker Vincent Prieto, D-Secaucus, a co-sponsor, noted that other states like New York and California have already approved a $15 minimum wage.

Jay Webber

Assemblyman Jay Webber, R-Morris, asked Prieto and the bill co-sponsor John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, if they had been to an Applebee’s restaurant lately.

He described how the restaurant chain has enabled customers to place their orders via an iPad.

“Do you think that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is going to start pricing people out of the labor market especially if technology will replace them?” Webber asked.

Wisniewski replied that restaurants are always going to use new technology to lower their costs.

Webber agreed but said that hiking the minimum wage will drive employers to look for ways to limit the number of their employees.

“I don’t think you stop the march of technology, but you certainly can speed it up,” Webber said. “And when you raise the cost of employing individuals you’re going to give people incentives to find technology to replace people faster.”

The bill would increase the state’s hourly minimum wage from $8.38 to $10.10 with an increase of $1 annually until it reaches $15. Further increases would be tied to the consumer price index.

Democratic leaders have said that they expect Governor Christie will veto the bill. Once that happens, they plan to place it on the November 2017 ballot.

Jon Bramnick

The measure spurred criticism from Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Union, who said the minimum wage hike was the latest example of what he called “The Bernie effect” alluding to Democratic presidential contender Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sanders has pressed his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on several fronts including income inequality.

“They (New Jersey Democratic lawmakers) are so afraid of the left wing of their party that they are going off the rails,” Bramnick said at a news conference. He said New Jersey’s current minimum wage is higher than 34 states including neighboring Pennsylvania at $7.25.

 

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Webber Bill Protecting Seniors and Disabled from Predatory Criminals Approved by Panel

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Jay Webber sponsors legislation that was approved today by the Law and Public Safety Committee. The bill would protect senior and disabled citizens from being targeted by criminals by making it easier to prosecute suspects for preying on the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of their victims, and increases the penalties for convictions.

Jay Webber

“Our society’s most trusting and helpless people are too often crime victims at the hands of opportunistic criminals who seek an easy payday,” said Webber (R—Morris). “This bill beefs up protections for our most vulnerable with stronger laws, more appropriate criminal charges, and increased penalties.’”

The bill establishes a gradation of criminal offenses, ranging from a disorderly persons offense to a crime of the second degree, for acts committed against a person 60 years of age or older, a disabled adult, or a person who is unable to care for himself because of mental disease or defect.

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Webber pokes fun at “wimpy” Democrat gas tax trade-off

Source: Save Jersey Blog -

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, Save Jerseyans.

Those people would be Democrats. Last week they released ‘tax reform’ proposals to fund the state’s transportation trust fund – including borrowing and a preemptive promise (or threat?) to “pull the plug” on tax reductions. So not reform at all, really. The same old bull crap in fancy new packaging.

Jay Webber

Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris) isn’t buying it.

“A classic bait-and-switch is built into this tax trade-off proposal,” our friend and conservative champion recently opined. “They would impose an immediate and permanent gas tax increase on New Jersey’s overtaxed residents in exchange for a phased-in estate tax reduction they already plan to revoke.

“How do we know this is a bad deal for taxpayers? Look no farther than the last raw ‘deal’ on the Transportation Trust Fund in 2011-12.”

What was the plan? As Webber correctly recollects, the 2011-12 TTF 5-year funding plan was slated to include no less than $4.37 billion in new borrowing and $1.82 billion in soc-called “pay as you go”cash financing … from the state’s general fund.

What happened? Check out the table post to the right. Pay-as-you-go was gone by the first year.

“Less borrowing, more PayGo – that was the plan pledged and touted by the Democrats last time around. What actually happened over the last five years? Borrowing boomed, and PayGo was a NoGo – the exact opposite of what they promised. So taxpayers incurred more debt but in return the Democrats showed no fiscal discipline,” added Webber. “Now that the Dems have run out of money, those same deal makers have a new ‘deal’ for us – an immediate and permanent gas tax increase for a phased-in and temporary tax reduction. Another Wimpy offer, gladly giving us tax relief on the proverbial Tuesday for a gas tax hike today.”

History … learn it! Or be ruled by the bad decisions that shaped it.

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Bramnick, Webber weigh in on possible TTF solutions

Source: PolitickerNJ -

A group of tax cuts could clear the legislature’s path for funding the Transportation Trust Fund if both Republicans and Democrats take the deal being put forward by Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36). Governor Christie has said he will only consider raising New Jersey’s gas tax to fund the Trust Fund if Democrats offer concessions on “tax fairness” but making cuts to the estate tax. Though Sarlo’s bill has some bipartisan support and a Republican co-sponsor in Steven Oroho (R-24), the plan is drawing fire from the left and the right.

As Sarlo outlined the details of his own estate tax phase-out and called for the $1.2 billion TTF’s funding cap to be raised this week, Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto (D-32) said that he would only consider posting a bill doing away with those levies if they came as part of an explicit plan to fund the TTF and offered Christie’s successor the ability to change the pace of the phase-out if economic growth remains stagnant. The TTF could face insolvency as soon as July.

Sarlo and Oroho’s bill joins other Democratic bills to raise the threshold for taxes on retirement income and allow additional tax deductions for charitable contributions.

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21), who has expressed his willingness to negotiate for a gas tax in the past, invoked tax flight when he said the cuts would do too little if spread across Sarlo’s proposed five-year phase-out period.

“New Jersey cannot afford to wait to phase out the estate tax,” said Bramnick in a statement. “Every year we lose more retirees to tax friendly states.”

The Office of Legislative Services estimates that the phase out would cost the state $550 million a year. Bramnick argued the state could recoup that cost if residents choose to stay because of a more favorable tax structure.

“I suspect the state would do far better by more people staying in New Jersey because we made this change,” Bramnick continued. “That alone will help make up for the lost tax revenue.”

Jay Webber

Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26) pointed to the cost of building and maintaining transportation infrastructure in New Jersey versus other, similarly populous states. Others like Senator Pete Doherty (R-23) have also argued that the solution to addressing aging roads and bridges lies more in cutting down costs than in raising the cap for the TTF.

“Under the NJDOT’s own numbers, New Jersey’s roads are the most expensive in the nation, an extreme outlier even among our neighboring states,” Webber said in a statement. “Any solution to the Transportation Trust Fund must include real and credible savings and efficiencies so that New Jersey’s taxpayers will know that their money is being spent wisely.”

Left-leaning advocacy groups New Jersey Policy Perspective and the New Jersey Sierra Club came down hard on the plan, with NJPP’s Gordon MacInnes saying there is “only one way to ensure ‘tax fairness’ in pushing forward a much-needed hike in fuel taxes to fund critical transportation investments: reduce taxes for the lowest-income New Jerseyans, who will feel the greatest impact of any gas tax increase.”

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Assembly Panels Approve Pair of Webber Property Tax Relief Bills

Assembly Republican Press Release -

A pair of bills targeting New Jersey’s property tax crisis, sponsored by Assemblyman Jay Webber, advanced from Assembly committees today. A-312 mandates the publishing of comprehensive property tax data on the Division of Local Government Services website, and A-302 provides direct relief for property taxpayers from energy tax receipts.

Jay Webber

“Property taxes in this state have been the highest in the nation for too long. They affect everyone in every phase of life, from families with kids, to seniors in retirement, to young people just starting out and trying to buy a home,” said Webber (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic). “Reining in property taxes must be our number one priority, and today we are making progress on solving the problem.”

The Assembly State and Local Government Committee passed Webber’s bill (A312) shining a spotlight on the state’s untenable property tax burdens. The bill requires the publication of a summary of property tax data for the current year and the 10 preceding calendar years; details about the property tax levy for the previous year in every county, municipality, school district and fire district; and the average residential property tax bill for each municipality in New Jersey.

“This bill is about transparency and accountability,” said Webber. “People know their property taxes are too high, but this information, published for public consumption on the internet, lets them understand how their towns stack up against their neighbors’, and makes it easier for them to hold accountable their elected officials and demand smaller, more affordable government.”

Webber’s second bill, A-302, provides direct relief to property taxpayers and was approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The measure increases money to municipalities from the energy tax receipts program, and prevents towns from simply spending those monies by requiring them to subtract the additional aid from its adjusted tax levy. The result is a direct reduction in the property taxes. Phased in over a five-year period, the bill results in more than $330 million in property tax relief.

“This bill actually does something Trenton hasn’t done in years: it directly cuts property taxes. We have much more to do to attack the property tax problem in our State,” said Webber. “But today, we are taking two steps in the right direction.”

Assemblyman Webber’s extended comments about A-302, appearing in an opinion piece, are available here: http://www.app.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/02/05/nj-energy-receipts-tax/79873508/

A detail of estimated tax relief per municipality is attached.

A-302 Implementation

 

Year 1: $67,425,727-(20%)

Year 2: $134,851,453-(40%)

Year 3: $202,277,180-(60%)

Year 4: $269,702,906-(80%)

Year 5: $337,128,633-(100%)

 

Data specific to municipalities in Legislative District 26:

 

Municipality FY17 +20% FY18 +40% FY19 +60% FY20 +80% FY21 +100%
Essex County
Fairfield Borough

$100,918

$201,837

$302,755

$403,674

$504,592

North Caldwell Borough

$38,335

$76,670

$115,004

$153,339

$191,674

Verona Township

$69,525

$139,050

$208,574

$278,099

$347,624

West Caldwell Township

$86,672

$173,344

$260,016

$346,688

$433,360

Morris County
Butler Borough

$67,332

$134,665

$201,997

$269,330

$336,662

Jefferson Township

$109,004

$218,008

$327,012

$436,016

$545,020

Kinnelon Borough

$47,425

$94,850

$142,274

$189,699

$237,124

Lincoln Park Borough

$52,910

$105,821

$158,731

$211,642

$264,552

Montville Township

$135,127

$270,254

$405,380

$540,507

$675,634

Morris Plains Borough

$52,599

$105,197

$157,796

$210,394

$262,993

Parsippany-Troy Hills Township

$270,981

$541,781

$812,672

$1,083,562

$1,354,453

Rockaway Township

$90,941

$181,883

$272,824

$363,766

$454,707

Passaic County
West Milford Township

$137,678

$275,357

$413,035

$550,714

$688,392

Total

$1,259,447

$2,518,667

$3,778,070

$5,037,430

$6,296,787

 

Data specific to Morris, Essex, and Passaic counties:

 

County FY17 +20% FY18 +40% FY19 +60% FY20 +80% FY21 +100%
Essex County $7,679,576 $15,359,152 $23,038,728 $30,718,304 $38,397,880
Morris County $3,020,244 $6,040,488 $9,060,731 $12,080,975 $15,101,219
Passaic County $3,438,636 $6,877,272 $10,315,907 $13,754,543 $17,193,179
 
Total $14,138,456 $28,276,912 $42,415,366 $56,553,822 $70,692,278

 

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Webber weighs in on equal pay bills

Burlington County Times -

New Jersey lawmakers advanced legislation Monday that would mandate all workers receive paid sick time, and two bills aimed at ensuring women receive equal pay on the job.

All three have received support from union and worker advocacy groups but have drawn opposition from business groups.

The pay equity bills would amend the state’s law against discrimination to prohibit unequal pay for “substantially similar” work, as well as extend the statute of limitations for unequal pay claims and require all government contractors in New Jersey to report employee gender and compensation information to the Department of Labor and Division of Civil Rights.

Another bill would require businesses seeking state contracts to also report employee gender and compensation information.

The proposed bills are supposed to boost transparency surrounding wages and also hold businesses accountable if they are found guilty of discrimination.

Jay Webber

Assemblyman Jay Webber, R-26th of Morris Plains, said the bills would only help plaintiff attorneys.

“My concern is that bills like this and others will hurt our economy more than they will help the gender pay equity issue you’re advancing. I fully support equal pay for equal work,” Webber said. “What I don’t support is an engraved invitation to the New Jersey plaintiffs bar — which is already very, very powerful and doing quite well — to make themselves even richer at the expense of small-business men and women, and in the end destroy jobs for men and women.”

Business groups have opposed the measure, claiming that it surpasses both federal law and discrimination case law, and that the reporting requirements would be a burden on small businesses and drive up costs for public contracts.

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Webber Bill Requiring Public Listing of Unfunded Mandates Released by Committee

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jay Webber

Legislation (A-1034) instructing the Department of Community Affairs to prepare and annually update a list of all unfunded state and federal mandates imposed on municipalities and counties was released by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee today. The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic), specifies that a cost estimate of each mandate must be included in the list.

“Too often, local government is directed to implement a law or regulation that doesn’t make allowances for how the directive is funded,” said Webber. “When there is no requirement for the Federal or State Governments to pay for such ‘free’ mandates, there will be more and more of them. Only those mandates are not free, because taxpayers wind up paying for them one way or another.”

“This bill improves transparency, giving taxpayers access to information on the hidden costs of programs or regulations for which they pay, but don’t yet know it,” continued Assemblyman Webber.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reported that Congress shifted at least $131 billion in costs to states between 2004 and 2008.

A 2014 study by the Congressional Budget Office reported that of the 539 bills analyzed, 47 contained intergovernmental mandates.

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The future of municipal aid and property taxes

Star Ledger -

Jon Bramnick

State Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Union) said Thursday he’d like to restore aid to New Jersey’s municipalities to lower property taxes, but the state simply can’t afford it.

Lawmakers have introduced a bill (A302) to restore hundreds of millions of dollars in energy tax receipts and Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Aid to local governments for property tax relief. Local governments would have to use the funds to reduce local levies.

The money paid by utility companies was originally intended for towns. But New Jersey governors, starting with Jon Corzine, diverted the money to the state treasury to balance the budget.

Under the bill, the state would restore the $331 million over five years, ending in 2021, when the municipalities would be returned to the amount they’d received in 2008.

Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a similar bill in 2012.

Lawmakers in both the Assembly and Senate have declared property tax relief a priority in this legislative session. Data released Friday showed the average statewide property tax bill rose from $8,161 in 2014 to $8,353 in 2015.

Bramnick, a likely Republican candidate for governor in 2017 who has urged the Legislature to move bills to get property taxes under control, said the bill is “a good idea, but where’s the money?”

“I’d like to give everyone in the state of New Jersey everything,” Bramnick said aboard the train during the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s 79th Walk to Washington trip. “Just tell me where you get the money.”

Jay Webber

The bill represents a real chance to lower property taxes, Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris), a sponsor, said in a phone interview, adding the pricetag is a tiny sliver of the state’s proposed budget.

“If you can’t cut two-tenths of 1 percent of the budget to provide property tax relief, then you’re never going to provide property tax relief,” he said.

Jon Moran, a legislative analyst with the League of Municipalities, has said the league wants the additional funds but doesn’t think the Legislature should tell local lawmakers how to spend the money.

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Webber bill calls for cap on tuition increases at NJ colleges

Source: Excerpted from NJ Advance Media -

With the cost of college rising and graduates swimming in student debt, New Jersey lawmakers are calling for a cap on in-state tuition hikes at the state’s public college and universities.

The Assembly Higher Education Committee on Monday approved a bill (A552) that would place an annual 4 percent cap on in-state tuition and fee increases at public colleges. The proposal would apply to both graduate and undergraduate tuition.

Jay Webber

“Student debt is driven in large part by high tuition rates,” said Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris), another sponsor of the bill. “It’s damaging to individuals and our economy.”

Tuition and fees increased at each of the state’s four-year public colleges last fall, with New Jersey City University and Kean University tied for the highest increase at 3 percent.

New Jersey college graduates, including those who attend private colleges, left school with an average of $28,318 in student debt in 2014, according to a study by the nonprofit Institute for College Access & Success. A White House report in 2015 projected that New Jersey residents owe a collective $30 billion in federal student loans.

The state has previously implemented tuition caps for specific school years. Some colleges responded by hiking other fees or raising tuition even higher in subsequent years.

In order to become law, the proposed cap on tuition increases would need support from the full Assembly, the full Senate and Gov. Chris Christie.

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