It's no secret that the choices before Gov. Phil Murphy, President Donald Trump and any other leader right now are fraught ones — start to open up the economy and risk a major uptick in the spread of the novel coronavirus, or keep businesses, schools and travel shut down, and risk hurting more people by tanking the economy further?

Murphy's been cautious not to move toward reopening New Jersey until, as he says, "we've broken the back" of the virus. And in the meantime, he's worked with banks to get New Jerseyans some mortgage relief, and utilities to keep services on for people who can't pay.

But Jim Gearhart says in the latest edition of the weekly Jim Gearhart Show podcast and Facebook Live show that there's one way we'll know if Murphy truly cares about the people of New Jersey.

"If he really cares about the people of New Jersey, he will come up with some kind of a property tax payment holiday," Jim says.

For many people, the bill is coming due in just weeks — but work might not come again for months or longer. And an overloaded unemployment system has left thousands of New Jerseyans struggling to get access to the help they're told they'll receive.

Jim doesn't even mind if the "holiday" isn't for everyone — if there's a means test, or if it's only for seniors.

It's not something the governor has signaled may be coming. And local governments, which depend on New Jersey's typically sky-high property taxes, are bleeding money quickly.

But Jim says seniors, in particular, need a break.

"Here you get people who certainly have paid their dues, and they're suffering as much anybody is with this — maybe more in many cases, because if nothing else they're more susceptible to the worst ravages of the disease," Jim says. "They not only paid the fiddler. They paid the whole orchestra. "

Be sure to tell Jim and Bob Williams what you think next week: The Jim Gearhart show is LIVE on Facebook every Thursday at 10:30 a.m., at Got an idea for an upcoming installment of Jim's show? Meet Jim at to suggest it in the comments, or email

The Jim Gearhart Show podcast is available every week on New Jersey 101.5 and in the New Jersey 101.5 app. You can also subscribe with your favorite podcasting app for iPhonesAndroid devices or your computer:

That's just part of what Jim and Bob Williams take on in the latest installment of his show, also available as a podcast. Check out the full episode to hear the rest.

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