Spadea’s Plan: 3 ways Governor Murphy can fix NJ
As I mentioned last week, every Tuesday we'll take your calls so you can 'Tell the (new) Governor' what's on your mind. He hasn't committed to answer your questions nor has he given any indication as to whether he'll participate, but nevertheless, we will continue to take your calls and get your input. Calls were all over the map today covering everything from undocumented aliens receiving a driver license to the plan to get taxes under control. The problems facing our state are big and complicated for sure. However, with the right leadership, courage and focus, the solutions are right in front of us.
The sales tax was lowered again this year as a part of the deal the previous governor struck in exchange for a hike in the gas tax. The problem? Working and middle class families are only seeing a few pennies in savings with one caller claiming that on a $138 purchase of medicine for his pet, he saved 3 cents from the last purchase. The cost to the treasury for the latest one eighth of one percent reduction? Approximately $400 million. So taxpayers see virtually no benefit and hundreds of millions are taken out of the treasury. Guess what? You will have to make up the difference in higher income tax or real estate tax, so how does this help anyone? It doesn't. This was a simple bargaining chip used by Governor Christie to sell the gas tax.
Here are my simple and, yes, long term fixes that the new Governor could get started on right away.
First, restore the sales tax to the original 7%. That would add approximately $800 million back to the treasury according to current estimates.
Second, withhold future pension payments for public workers until the union agrees to renegotiate health benefits. There is no reason why both sides can't come to an agreement that would not reduce benefits, but would allow for options on lesser expensive plans. The total savings could be as high as $2 billion a year for local taxpayers.
Third, lower the millionaires tax in order to aggressively attract NYC millionaires to leave New York and Connecticut for the tax haven of New Jersey. That's right. A "reverse millionaires tax". We should be fighting for every dollar. Instead of being a witness to the growing exodus from New Jersey, let's keep money in the garden state. Imagine if we lowered the rate and brought in millions? What would it mean to have more millionaires here in the Garden State to take advantage of lower taxes than New York and Connecticut? Let's have the rich pay their fair share. Let's just make sure that they're paying it in NJ and offsetting your tax burden.
That's just the beginning. As we head through the first one hundred days with the new administration, I'll have additional ideas to present including the 99% privatization of Rutgers and a complete transition for New Jersey Transit, Hong Kong style...stay tuned!
Have something you want to 'Tell the Governor'? Call in every Tuesday: 1-800-283-1015
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea.
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