Tag: Jay Webber

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.

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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.

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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.

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Webber on Gun Bill Vote: ‘I thought the bill makes the state a little safer’

Source: PolitickerNJ -

A former Republican State Party Chairman who once clashed behind the scenes with Gov. Chris Christie’s inner circle allies before surrendering the chairmanship, was one of four Republicans who crossed the aisle earlier today to vote in favor of attempting to override Christie on a public safety-targeted gun bill.

Like his Republican colleagues in the legislature, Webber originally voted in favor of the bill in June.

While 17 of his colleagues reversed themselves this afternoon, Webber stuck by his initial vote.

Jay Webber

“I thought the bill makes the state a little safer place,” the veteran assemblyman from Morris County told PolitickerNJ after recording his vote and watching the override fail. “My job when I come to Trenton is to vote for things that make the state safer.”

Did he consider voting against the override?

“I listened to all my colleagues, and I think the governor’s CV (conditional veto) was well-written, but at the end of the day, this was the vote before us for a common sense measure and I voted in favor of the common sense measure,” Webber said.

Party sources say Webber – long regarded as a stand-out intellect in the legislature – may be positioning himself to run for statewide office, be it senate or the governor’s office. When he served as state Republican Chairman he disagreed at times with Christie’s kitchen cabinet about the direction of the party.

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Webber Down Syndrome Information Bill Approved by Assembly

Assembly Republican Press Release -

The Assembly today unanimously passed 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.

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Webber Down Syndrome Information Bill Released by Committee

Assembly Republican Press Release -

The Assembly Women and Children Committee today passed 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.

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Route 53 dedicated as Alex DeCroce Memorial Highway

Daily Record -

Want to get from Denville to Morris Plains? Just hop on the DeCroce.

Nearly two years after Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill to rename Route 53 after the late Assemblyman from Parsippany, several New Jersey legislators and other dignitaries attended a ceremony Tuesday to formally dedicate the state highway as “Alex DeCroce Memorial Highway.”

A bill approving the name change was unanimously passed by the state legislature in 2013, and signed by Gov Chris Christie in January 2014.

The ceremony took place during a cloudy, rainy morning outside of Verdi restaurant, followed by a celebration luncheon at the eatery on Route 53 in the Mount Tabor section of Parsippany.

DeCroce, the Assembly’s Republican leader from 2003 until his death on Jan. 9, 2012, was a longtime Parsippany resident and businessman who represented the 26th District from 1989 until he died after collapsing in the Statehouse. He was 75.

DeCroce, who partnered with the late U.S. Rep. Dean Gallo in a Parsippany real estate office, also served as a Morris County freeholder from 1984 until 1989, when he was appointed to fill a vacant Assembly seat. He was elected in 1989 and re-elected 11 times, and was scheduled to be sworn in for his next Assembly term the day after his death.

BettyLou DeCroce

BettyLou DeCroce

His widow, BettyLou DeCroce, was appointed to succeed him and last week was elected to a second full term in the Assembly.

 ”It was an honor for our entire family to see the kind of respect people had for him, and still do,” she said. “I said when the bill was passed that Alex would have pitched a fit over this because he was not one to flaunt his accomplishments. He just wanted to get the job done for the people of his district and the state. Alex was a huge supporter of transportation issues. To have Route 53, which runs through his hometown and district, named for him is truly a great honor to his legacy. And as a former freeholder, it was so very appropriate.”

DeCroce added people at the ceremony were jokingly attributing the inclement weather to her late husband because everyone was making such a fuss over him.

“He was a modest man,” she said. “He didn’t live by his title, but for the people of New Jersey.”

Jay Webber, who also represents the 26th in Trenton, joined DeCroce at the ceremony, along with Assemblyman Anthony Bucco from the 25th. Sen. Tom Kean Jr., who represents Chatham and Long Hill in the Morris County portion of the 21st District, also attended, as did Assembly GOP leader John Bramnick.

Christie, who postponed his State of the State address after DeCroce’s sudden passing, praised his friend, who he described at the time in remarks to the legislature as a “close friend and mentor for almost 20 years.”

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Bucco, Carroll, Webber welcome opening of AFP Community Center

Source: Daily Record -

Offering to “help every American, no matter their walk of life, to live a truly prosperous life,” Americans for Prosperity Foundation President Tim Phillips joined several Morris County Republican leaders for the official opening of its first New Jersey community center.

Michael Patrick Carroll

 

“AFP has been around for nine years now. I went to the very first organizational meeting. I was the only elected official there…It’s good to have its presence in New Jersey and sure as hell good to have it in Morris County.” – Asm. Michael Patrick Carroll

 

Jay Webber

“I think it’s a great idea, with a lot of excellent services they plan on providing. Just a center for folks to use, meet and talk about important things like how to pay for college, how to save on your family budget, all positive and productive things.” – Asm. Jay Webber

 

The center, located at 550 W. Main St. at the crossroads of Mountain Lakes and Boonton Township, will serve as the headquarters for the foundation, frequently described as the educational arm of the AFP, a grassroots political organization known for advocating economic freedom and individual liberty.

“We seek to put forward policies that will bring those two foundational aspects of a prosperous life into being,” Philipps said. “That’s what we do, literally from Arizona to New Jersey and from Florida to Wisconsin, and everywhere in between. Here in New Jersey, we’re committed to those goals as well, and we’re going to be active here for a long time.”

The center will be part of the influential conservative organization with 34 state chapters and affiliates, and reporting to have 2.3 million members, with more than 100,000 in New Jersey making contributions either to the AFP or its foundation.

The event drew some of the highest profile Republicans in Morris County, including Sens. Joseph Pennacchio and Anthony R. Bucco, Assemblymen Anthony M. Bucco, Michael Patrick Carroll and Jay Webber, Freeholders John Krickus and Douglas Cabana and Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi. Boonton Mayor Cyril Wekilsky and Mountain Lakes Mayor Doug McWilliams also attended.

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Republicans react to surprise pension resolution in Assembly

PolitickerNJ -

Launching lawmakers into last-minute debate prior to the close of an otherwise subdued budget season, Assembly Democrats introduced and voted up a resolution at their voting session today urging Gov. Chris Christie to make a an upfront $1.3 billion pension payment at the start of the coming fiscal year.

Leaders in the Senate and Assembly authored the surprise concurrent resolution this morning, announcing the measure in a press release prior to voting sessions in both houses. The measure calls on Christie to use the state’s line of credit to make that payment sooner than later — in July of this year rather than June of next year — in order to save some $90 million in additional investment income for the pension system.

At their 11 a.m. hearing, which was expected to see little more than the passage of a modified increase on the state Earned Income Tax Credit, the resolution fueled 11th hour debate over the budget, focusing largely on the $1.3 billion pension payment included in the $33.8 billion budget Christie signed last week. Lawmakers argued over the fiscal and economic merits of making that payment sooner, which would force the state to borrow more money now, rather than later, as is custom.

The debate also offered certain glimpses into the overall divisions among Republican and Democrats on the state’s fiscal future, with members of the former party opting for fiscal restraint and responsibility.

Caroline Casagrande

“Once again we’re here sticking our finger in a dam, when there is water already coming over the barricades,” said Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-11), lamenting the legislature’s failure to come together on a long-term solution to the pension system.

Democratic sponsors of the bill, including Prieto but also Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), say that the upfront payment would help assuage the retirement fund’s fiscal squeeze, which involves some $80 billion in unfunded liabilities. They say tapping the state’s line of credit to make the $1.3 billion pension payment early next month rather than waiting until next June is simply an extension of normal state Treasury practices — and that each year, the state borrows about $2.5 billion in July to cover an annual cash flow shortfall, and the cost of the interest payments is included in each year’s budget.

But Republicans in the Assembly today expressed skepticism over the veracity of those estimates, wondering aloud whether an upfront payment might cost the state more than it saves. Some argued that it would be more fiscally prudent to wait for projected taxes revenues to come in before funding the payment, while others slammed the surprise nature of the measure’s introduction, which they said was dropped by Democrats prior to the voting session with little notice.

Several Republicans at one point motioned to table the measure in favor of gleaning more information from the State Treasurer, though the Democratic majority easily defeated the move.

Jon Bramnick

“Keep in mind that this resolution did not come through a committee,” said Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21), who sparred with Assembly Budget Officer Gary Schaer (D-36) over what savings an upfront payment might have. “This was, I am assuming, a last minute idea to borrow money. We did not ask to have this rushed through on the morning or afternoon of the budget.”

Still, others supported the potential to shore up the system and save taxpayer money in the short term — but stressed that such efforts must also be coupled with other, long-term reforms to the system. Republicans want Democrats to join them in working on a second overhaul to the fund, incorporating recommendations put forth by the governor’s bi-partisan pension commission.

Jay Webber

“This has to be part of a larger solution. Not how do we get to FY2016, but how are we going to do this for our kids,” added Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26), who said he would abstain from a vote on the issue.

Declan O'Scanlon

“One thing that should have been embarrassingly clear from today’s debate is that the Democrats didn’t do their homework on this idea,” said Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) in a statement following the vote. “The fact that the Democrats didn’t reach out to the treasurer to discuss the dynamics and ramifications of such a move make it abundantly clear that this is all about politics and nothing at all to do with thoughtful policy. It is outrageously irresponsible not to have done that essential homework.”

Ultimately, the resolution passed 45-6-18 in the Assembly; it later passed in the Senate as well.

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O’Scanlon, Webber on Democrat budget destined for reality-check by Governor

Source: Bergen Record -

The Democratic-controlled Legislature sent Governor Christie a $35.3 billion budget for the coming fiscal year on Thursday, along with some familiar tax increases that seemed destined for his veto pen.

Christie, a Republican, had proposed a leaner, $33.8 billion plan earlier in the year. Instead of going along, Democratic legislators included an extra $1.5 billion in spending that would be financed mostly through higher taxes on businesses and millionaires.

The Senate approved the budget by a 24-16 vote, with all Democrats in favor and all Republicans against. The Assembly vote was 47-31, also along party lines. The budget would take effect Wednesday.

Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, called the Democratic plan a “phony, unsustainable, economy-killing budget” built on one-shot sources of revenue. At one point, he compared the $35.3 billion plan to his cuff links. “They don’t do a damn thing, but they’re really cool, just like this budget,” he said.

Jay Webber

Not to be outdone, Assemblyman Jay Webber, R-Morris, said Democrats have known for years that there was no way Christie would sign off on tax increases. He called them “phony-baloney tax increases” and a “fake promise” to public workers worried about their pensions.”

Under the Democratic plan, almost all the extra money would go to the state’s distressed pension system for public workers, and nearly $200 million would be spread out among public schools, higher-education investments and a few pet projects for Democrats’ political allies and hometowns.

The last word on the budget, however, belongs to Christie, who vowed to slash spending with his line-item veto before signing the budget into law, which is expected today. The final product, Christie predicted, would be a budget below $34 billion.

For the fifth year since Christie took office, Democrats and Republicans spent the day debating the pros and cons of raising taxes — making the same arguments, quoting the same academic studies and passing the same bills in the same party-line votes.

The Democrats’ $35.3 billion budget plan is 8.9 percent larger than the one Christie signed last year. It includes a pension contribution of more than twice what Christie has proposed.

Business groups complained that even talk of raising taxes has a chilling effect on economic growth. Environmental and commuter groups complained that the Democrats’ plan kicked the can down the road on funding for roads, bridges and mass transit.

 

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