The Property Tax Debate: It’s Time to Put Every Idea on the Table

BY STEVE ADUBATO, PhD
SPECIAL TO NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
COMMENTARY

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Property taxes in our state have been out of control for decades. There is no quick fix, no silver bullet that would turn the situation around overnight. It took decades to get this bad and it is going to take a while to get it right. That’s why all ideas for property-tax relief should be seriously considered.

Among recent proposals is one by the New Jersey League of Municipalities that proponents say would allow for a 35 percent reduction on up to a $20,000 tax bill on your principal home. According to the League’s analysis, this approach would reduce property taxes on the average home by $2,700.

At the heart of the proposal is a plan to change the state’s income tax structure so that more of the tax burden would be based on an individual’s ability to pay.

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Sharif in charge at Jeffries for Mayor and other Newark News

By PolitickerNJ Staff | October 22nd, 2013

Veteran Newark Political Operative Carl Sharif is officially working now in his capacity as the political brain of the Shavar Jeffries for Mayor campaign.

Craig Kirby is gone as campaign manager but the stealth-like Sharif won't wear the moniker of "manager," according to a source close to the campaign.

Strategist will do, said a source.

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As Gays Wed in New Jersey, Christie Ends Court Fight

The New York Times

Stewart Fishbein, left, and Peter Aupperle showed off the rings signifying their marriage at Hoboken City Hall on Monday.

 

As couples across New Jersey began marrying on Monday after the stroke of midnight, Gov. Chris Christie abandoned his long fight against same-sex marriage, concluding that signals from the court and the march of history were against him.

His decision not to appeal a judge’s ruling that allowed the weddings removed the last hurdle to legalized same-sex marriage in New Jersey, making it the 14th state, along with the District of Columbia, to allow gay couples to wed.

Mr. Christie’s advisers said it became clear late on Friday that the fight had to end after the State Supreme Court announced it would not grant the governor’s request to block same-sex marriages while he appealed.

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The Star-Ledger endorsement: Christie for governor

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board
on October 20, 2013

 

Gov. Chris Christie is the most remarkable political talent America has seen since Bill Clinton. If you haven’t witnessed his performance at a town hall meeting yet, make a point of it. You will come away convinced there is a sensible middle ground in America after all.

Equally impressive is his skill at playing Trenton’s inside game. Faced with Democrats in solid control of the Legislature, he’s managed to split them down the middle by seducing a handful of pliant party bosses whose self-interest compelled them to hitch their wagons to his.

The surprise is that his achievements have been only modest. He signed an important reform to contain pension and health costs, but it was mostly done before he arrived. He signed a useful tenure reform last year, but it is a weak version that still protects bad teachers with seniority. His reorganization of the higher education system is promising, but untested.

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"I'm here as a husband, father and grandson who wants to see cancer relegated to being a footnote..."

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Newark mayoral candidate Shevar Jeffries joined hundreds of like-minded participants in Lincoln Park for the American Cancer Society's "Making Strides" walk for a cure for breast cancer. Jeffries and his "All in for Newark" team trekked the three mile course from Lincoln Park to Military Park and back with the throngs of other striders determined to see breast cancer eradicated in their lifetimes.

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Same-Sex Marriages in New Jersey Can Begin, Court Rules

The New York Times

Same-sex couples can start marrying on Monday across New Jersey, after the state’s Supreme Court denied Gov. Chris Christie’s attempt to block the weddings and suggested that he would have a difficult time winning an appeal of a lower-court ruling that allowed them.

A State Superior Court judge ruled last month that the state had to allow same-sex marriage to comply with two decisions: the United States Supreme Court ruling in June that same-sex married couples have the same rights to federal benefits as heterosexual married couples, and a 2006 ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court that same-sex couples were entitled to all of the rights and benefits of marriage.

The Superior Court judge, Mary C. Jacobson, ruled that the marriages could begin on Monday.

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Editorial: Senator-elect Cory Booker needs South Jersey listening tour

By South Jersey Times
on October 18, 2013

Newark Mayor Cory Booker led his opponent Steve Lonegan in polls throughout the race for U.S. Senate, so his big win Wednesday in a low turnout special election is no real surprise.

Congratulations to our new senator. What remains now is to see what Booker will do in Washington.

What do the people of New Jersey expect from Cory Booker?

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Is Newark Better or Worse After Cory Booker?

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As Cory Booker (pictured) cruised to victory in Wednesday’s special election to fill the late New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg’s seat, what legacy has Newark’s mayor left behind in the state’s largest city?

RELATED: Newark Mayor Cory Booker Wins Democratic Senate Primary

During his two back-to-back terms in office, starting in 2006, Booker has made headlines with a hands-on approach. With 1.4 million Twitter followers (his city has less than 300,000 residents), Booker shoveled snow from a constituent’s father’s driveway after she Tweeted to the mayor’s account asking for help. In April 2012, he saved a woman from a house fire. And after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, Booker invited Newark residents without power to stay at his home.

The backdrop for those feats is a majority-black city (PDF) which has a reputation as one of American’s deadliest, and where two out of five children live below the poverty line. The city was rocked by civil disturbances in 1967 from which many say it has never completely recovered.

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Booker, Winning Rocky Senate Bid, Gets a Job to Fit His Profile

The New York Times

Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark easily won New Jersey’s special Senate election on Wednesday, finally rising to an office that measures up to his national profile.

He will arrive in Washington already one of the country’s most prominent Democrats, and its best-known black politician other than President Obama, who backed him aggressively. Mr. Booker’s fund-raising prowess puts him on course to lead his party’s campaign efforts in the Senate, and he has been mentioned as a possible vice-presidential pick for 2016.

With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Mr. Booker had 55 percent of the vote to 44 percent for Steve Lonegan, a Republican former mayor of Bogota, N.J., and state director of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, according to The Associated Press. Still, the campaign gave a wider audience to certain facets of Mr. Booker that long ago began to prompt eye-rolling among his constituents.

With a Twitter following six times as large as the city he has led, Mr. Booker was known outside Newark largely for his appearances on late-night television and his heroics: rescuing a neighbor from a burning building, shoveling out snowbound cars, living on a food stamp diet.

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Christie, Buono trade barbs in second and final N.J. gubernatorial debate

By Brent Johnson/The Star-Ledger
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on October 15, 2013

Gov Chris Christie and Sen Barbara Buono debate at Montclair State University for the second and final time before the gubernatorial election next month. Montclair, NJ 10/15/13 (John Munson/The Star-Ledger)

 

TRENTON — In their second and final gubernatorial debate, Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic challenger Barbara Buono tonight once again showed their sharp differences on everything from the economy and property taxes to support from the state's party bosses.

In one heated exchange, Buono said Christie, a Republican, has been able to forge friendships with party bosses because he "represents the worst combination of bully and bossism."

"You're not interested in cleaning up that boardwalk empire of backroom political bosses," said Buono, who is fair behind in polls and fundraising numbers.

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