Tag: Jay Webber

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.

read more

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.”

read more

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

 

read more

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.

read more

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.

read more

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.

read more

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.

read more

Panel Approves Property Tax Relief Bill Sponsored by Webber

The bill restores funding from Energy Tax Receipts to provide direct property tax relief

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republican Jay Webber to provide direct relief to property taxpayers cleared the State and Local Government Committee today. Webber’s bill (A-302) increases money to municipalities from the energy tax receipts program, and requires towns to subtract the additional aid from its adjusted tax levy to benefit property taxpayers.

Jay Webber

“It’s time to use the energy tax receipts to provide its intended relief for property taxpayers,” said Webber, R – Morris, Essex and Passaic. “The money was a promise of relief for property taxpayers, and using it for anything else is unacceptable. Restoring funding can keep that promise and begin lowering property tax bills.”

The bill increases the distribution from the energy tax receipts aid. Phased in over a five-year period, the increase restores approximately $331 million in reductions to consolidated municipal property tax relief aid and energy tax receipts.

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

 

 

Assemblyman Webber’s extended comments about the bill, appearing in a weekend opinion piece, are here:

Here is a simple principle: something named a “Property Tax Relief Fund” should do what it says and actually bring relief to property taxpayers. Too often, however, funds collected by our state government for “property tax relief” really just fuel more spending at the local level and bring no real relief for beleaguered taxpayers.

We have seen this with the New Jersey Income Tax, where billions of dollars annually are put into the “Property Tax Relief Fund” and then transferred to local governments, where the money is spent rather than sent to property owners for tax relief. The cruel result of that chicanery is that New Jerseyans are left with both high income and high property taxes.

Another example is the state government’s Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Fund, which contains the collected fees paid by utilities for usage of public right-of-ways for sewer, water, gas, and electricity lines. As its label suggests, that fund is supposed to provide property tax relief to our residents. But it doesn’t. Instead, for years state government has diverted those energy receipts into its general fund to spend at the state level.

Many municipal officials object to that practice, claiming that those energy receipts should go to their local budgets, ostensibly to reduce the local property tax burden. But that’s not what will happen. If the money is given to municipalities without restriction, the vast majority of it will just be spent, like so much of the income tax dollars that go back to school boards, and property taxpayers will be left out in the cold again.

Local elected officials face many challenges, and no one should minimize the difficulty of their jobs or the significance of their efforts to balance their budgets. It’s understandable that public officials on the local level would be tempted to seek state subsidies to ease their budgetary pressures. But the “it’s-our-money” mindset is wrong and is one of the reasons New Jersey has the nation’s highest property taxes.

There is a better approach. Scheduled for consideration in Trenton next week is a bipartisan bill that I sponsor that would send the energy receipts back to municipalities, but with a crucial mandate: the funds must go to a direct reduction in property taxes. This initiative dictates direct relief for taxpayers, and gives local officials no option to spend the money. It puts taxpayers first, where they belong.

The bill would mean a real cut in the state’s property taxes, not a reduction in their growth. It would provide more than $325 million annually in direct property tax relief from just this one fund — $2.6 million in annual tax relief for Freehold taxpayers; $1.35 million in annual tax relief for Parsippany residents, and $2.3 million annual tax relief for Bridgewater residents, to cite just a few examples.

Sending money directly back to taxpayers (or, better, letting them keep more of it in the first place) is the path to real property tax relief. Sending money from the state to a lower level of government and hoping property taxes decline is not working — and never has. If there is one thing we have learned, it is that when government gets its hands on our money — at any level — it spends it.

Of course, this energy-receipts initiative alone is not a magic-bullet fix for the property tax crisis, and we should not be satisfied with stopping at this one proposal. Nevertheless, this new policy is the first of its kind to dictate that state aid to municipalities translate directly to tax relief for property taxpayers. Also, importantly, the initiative demands a mindset change among public officials who chronically spend taxpayer money and call it “property tax relief.” And with that, the bill holds the hope of even more substantial property tax relief going forward.

For more than a decade, New Jerseyans rightly have cited crushing property taxes as their number one concern. Let’s take the opportunity to lower property taxes now, before even more of our families and neighbors read this sort of opinion piece online from North Carolina, Pennsylvania, or Florida.

# # #

read more

Webber Down Syndrome Information Bill Signed into Law

Assembly Republican Press Release -

The governor signed into law today Assemblyman Jay Webber’s Down Syndrome Information bill, which is modeled after legislation supported by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). It requires health care workers provide parents accurate, professionally-recognized materials with referrals to local support organizations when delivering a positive prenatal or postnatal test result for Down syndrome.

Jay Webber

“This bill allows more parents to plan and educate themselves on the essentials of raising a special needs child,” said Assemblyman Webber, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic. “People with Down syndrome lead lives worth living and are loved by their families, friends, and communities. This bill helps welcome them into the world from the very beginning.”

The legislation (A-3233) directs the New Jersey Department of Health to create an information sheet that includes all of the following:
•A description of Down syndrome, including its effects on development, education and physical outcomes, and life expectancy;
•Options for treatment and therapy;
•Contact information for local, state, and national organizations that provide Down syndrome educational and support services and programs.

“By providing family support and the latest medical information, parents will have a more accurate idea of what to expect, and how to get ready to bring the newest member of their family home,” said Assemblyman Webber.

Other states that have recently passed similar legislation include: Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

# # #

read more

Rumana-Webber Bill would ease river cleanup permit restrictions

Bergen Record -

The state may soon ease its permit requirements for cleaning up local rivers.

Both the state Senate and Assembly have passed a bill sponsored by assemblymen Scott Rumana and Jay Webber that eases permit requirements to go into streams to clean them out. The Senate unanimously passed the bill (S-2677) on Aug. 13. The Assembly unanimously passed the bill on Dec. 3.

Under current law, only stream beds 15 feet or less in width may be cleaned without state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approval. This bill increases the width to 30 feet.

Since Tropical Storm Irene, Pompton Lakes has been actively working on clearing its rivers of debris. Last month, the borough approved the submission for a new five-year permit to the DEP.

Scott Rumana

Rumana said, “Cutting the red tape that makes it difficult for local officials to clear debris from their local waterways is an important step toward alleviating the impact of the chronic flooding that occurs during rainstorms throughout the state.

“While not a total solution to the flooding that plagues parts of New Jersey, including the Passaic River Basin, this proactive measure will help create increased capacity in rivers and streams and help our waterways flow more freely,” he said.

Jay Webber

Webber said, “This legislation heeds a call for cleaning waterways from residents of Fairfield, Lincoln Park, Montville, Parsippany, and other municipalities that have suffered repetitive flooding in the Passaic River Basin.”

He added, “Clogged streams contribute to flooding in the Passaic River Basin and waterways throughout the state. This legislation allows local authorities to take the initiative in clearing snagged or blocked waterways. That will help those waterways handle the volume and force of water during torrential rains and mitigate flooding so many of our neighbors endure all too often.”

The bill currently awaits the governor’s decision after being passed by the Legislature.

read more

Page 1 of 171234510...Last »
top