BOOKER’S AFFORDABLE-HOUSING PLAN FEATURES TAX CREDIT FOR RENTERS

COLLEEN O'DEA | JUNE 7, 2019

NJ Spotlight

Sen. Cory Booker on the campaign trail

---

Drawing at least in part on lessons from his home state of New Jersey, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker has unveiled a multi-pronged national plan, centered on a renters’ tax credit, for making housing more affordable, as part of his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president.

Saying America has a “housing affordability crisis,” Booker’s proposal also seeks to end restrictive zoning laws that keep low-cost housing out of many communities across the country, provide funds to build more affordable homes, help tenants fight eviction proceedings and eliminate housing discrimination and homelessness. Several of the provisions are part of the Housing, Opportunity, Mobility and Equality Act Booker introduced in the Senate last August.

The centerpiece of his proposal would be a refundable credit for those spending more than 30 percent of their pre-tax income on rent. The credit would cover the difference between 30 percent of an individual’s income and housing expenses, capped at the neighborhood fair-market value as enumerated by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. There would be no income cap, so the credit would help more than just those with low incomes.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Murphy says N.J. must revamp how it hands out tax breaks to companies as controversy rages over embattled program

Posted Jun 5, 2019

Less than a month before New Jersey’s embattled corporate tax incentive program expires, Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday pushed his plan for a complete revamp he said won’t just enrich large companies — as critics have charged — but boost startups and rebuild communities.

Murphy laid out his proposal during a speech in Cherry Hill, the backyard of South Jersey political power broker George Norcross, a fellow Democrat who is at the center of an increasingly heated battle over how taxpayer-funded incentives — or tax breaks — have been used in the Garden State.

Critics have alleged the program has enriched Norcross, a wealthy insurance executive, and various business entities that are tied to him.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

OP-ED: NEW JERSEY CAN HELP STUDENTS WITH THEIR LOAN DEBT

 | JUNE 5, 2019

NJ Spotlight

Stephan Lally and Beverly Brown Ruggia

---

Last month 400 extremely fortunate Morehouse College graduates flipped their tassels to the amazing revelation that they would be starting their post-college careers without student debt. Richard Smith, an incredibly generous billionaire from Texas, has pledged to pay off all of their student loans.

Smith’s gesture is noble, but unfortunately most other college graduates can’t count on the generosity of billionaires to pay off their loans. His gesture won’t cover the $1.5 trillion that 44 million Americans owe in student debt or the even $43 billion that 1.1 million New Jersey student-loan borrowers owe.

This debt crisis puts too many New Jersey graduates on a destructive cycle of damaged credit, limited career paths and missed economic opportunities. Students are unknowingly signing away their lives by taking out loans to pay for college. Lenders won’t approve 18-year-olds for a mortgage or small business loan, but will approve a student loan totaling tens of thousands of dollars. Many of these students have amassed debt from predatory for-profit college loans that left them without a valuable degree or the ability to get a better job.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

MURPHY UNVEILS DIRECT PROPERTY-TAX RELIEF PROPOSAL, BUT IS IT DOA?

JOHN REITMEYER | JUNE 4, 2019

NJ Spotlight

Gov. Phil Murphy discussing his property-tax relief proposal in Hackensack.

---

More than 2 million New Jersey residents would each get another $125 in property-tax relief next year under a proposal Gov. Phil Murphy detailed for the first time yesterday. But whether the Legislature ends up going along with his plan remains to be seen. Indeed, it may not even be considered.

Speaking at a morning news conference in Hackensack, Murphy said he’s pushing lawmakers to adopt legislation that would increase state spending on direct property-tax relief by $250 million.

The extra funding would let his administration establish a new income-tax credit to help offset property taxes paid by homeowners and renters who make up to $250,000 annually, Murphy said.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Murphy advisers mishandled rape claim against top campaign official from start to finish, sources familiar with new report say

Updated Jun 3, 2019

Gov. Phil Murphy’s closest advisers made a multitude of mistakes when they were confronted with allegations that a former senior campaign official who later joined Murphy’s administration raped a campaign supporter, according to sources familiar with a long-awaited report investigating the scandal.

By keeping the governor in the dark, refusing to investigate the accuser’s claim, and allowing the accused to remain as chief of staff for the New Jersey Schools Development Authority months after they decided to fire him, the report says Murphy’s advisers missed multiple opportunities to handle the allegations properly, three sources told NJ Advance Media.

The sources requested anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the report.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

‘Facts matter.’ Top Democrat says Murphy vetoes too much legislation. Murphy disagrees.

Updated May 31, 2019

New Jersey’s top two elected state officials now have a new issue they’re arguing about: how many times Gov. Phil Murphy has vetoed legislation so far.

On Thursday, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney criticized Murphy, a fellow Democrat, for issuing nearly as many vetoes as Republican predecessor Chris Christie, even though Democrats control the state Legislature. Sweeney called Murphy’s actions “way beyond normal."

But Murphy on Friday disputed those remarks, saying “facts matter.”

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Newark Cop Indicted in Fatal Shooting of Fleeing Driver

By REBECCA PANICO
May 22, 2019
TAPinto Newark

 

NEWARK, NJ - An Essex County grand jury on Tuesday indicted a city cop who exited his vehicle several times to shoot at a fleeing car, leaving one man dead and another seriously injured.

Jovanny Crespo, 26, was charged with aggravated manslaughter, aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and two counts of official misconduct nearly four months after the Jan. 28 incident.

Authorities say Crespo shot at the car after it fled from a traffic stop, hitting Gregory Griffin and Andrew Dixon, both of Newark, in the head,

Read more
Add your reaction Share

MURPHY’S APPEARANCE IN ‘LET’S TALK’ INTERNET AD HAS TOP DEMS SEEING RED

 | MAY 29, 2019

NJ Spotlight

 

New Direction New Jersey, an organization that supports Gov. Phil Murphy’s agenda, is mounting a new ad campaign that has raised concerns about the group’s lack of transparency and renewed calls for overriding Murphy’s recent conditional veto of a bill that would require groups like this one to disclose their contributors.

Last week, New Direction announced a $1 million campaign on cable and digital media, along with an online petition New Jerseyans can sign to support Murphy’s budget plan, including a millionaires tax. The first ad of the campaign, “Let’s Talk,” is already running and has angered the Democratic leaders of both houses of the Legislature.

The new ad follows close on the heels of Murphy’s conditional veto of a bill that would require politically active nonprofits like New Direction — social welfare groups organized under the 501(c)(4) section of the Internal Revenue Code — to disclose their contributors. These “dark money” groups have no obligation to report their donors and limited requirements for reporting their spending.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

THE FIVE STICKY BUDGET ISSUES GOVERNOR AND LAWMAKERS MUST RESOLVE

JOHN REITMEYER | MAY 28, 2019

NJ Spotlight

L to R: Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney

---

The post-Memorial Day push for a new state budget begins this week in Trenton. This year, there’s added suspense given that Gov. Phil Murphy and lawmakers have yet to work out several difficult issues. The clock is ticking since they have only until June 30 to do so — and to avoid a government shutdown. Here are the five biggest issues they must resolve:

Millionaire's tax

Murphy, a Democrat, has remained adamant that the Democratic-controlled Legislature needs to raise the income-tax rate on earnings over $1 million; he maintains that’s necessary to raise more revenue to sustain spending. A 10.75 percent wealth surcharge was established last year on income over $5 million; his proposal calls for the surcharge to be applied to all earnings over $1 million.

But Murphy’s proposal has received heavy pushback from Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex), who are reluctant to raise any taxes even if this policy change would impact just a small slice of the state’s 9 million residents. If they don’t back down, lawmakers will have to remove $536 million in spending from Murphy’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2020 or find other ways of raising revenue to keep spending balanced.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Anti-Muslim memes have no place in our politics | Editorial

Posted May 27, 2019

There is a flyer circulating among voters in Piscataway that uses the kind of coded anti-Muslim language that makes most of us uneasy.

The bigger problem is that the person who funded the flyer — powerful state Senator Bob Smith, the Middlesex Democrat — doesn’t see the necessity to repudiate it or apologize for it.

The flyer was targeted to predominantly Indian-American households and translated into Gujarati, a growing diaspora throughout the county that is primarily of Hindu faith.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

← Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10    169  170  Next →