Senior property tax break in NJ an illusion or a scam (Opinion)
For many of us, long-suffering property taxpayers in the state of New Jersey, all new promise of any kind of cut is looked up with profound cynicism. Who can blame us? Property tax rebates of pennies on the dollar compared to what our property tax bill is at the end of the year are frustrating, to say the least, and demeaning at best.
Everyone in Trenton knows the answer to cutting property taxes. Release the stranglehold of the NJEA on the property tax budget.
I guess the New Jersey Legislature is finally embarrassed and hounded by their constituents enough to finally take a real step toward property tax relief. It's a partial step for a smaller segment of the population that they hope will die off before it costs them too much.
Under the new proposal seniors over 65 will get their property tax cut in half up to $6,500 a year as long as they don't make more than $500K a year.
The ultimate answer is to remove funding for public school education from the property tax. The question then becomes how we pay for an antiquated, miserably failing public education system in the state. You severely reduce the overall budget for what they’re calling "education."
Put a small sales tax on every child item imaginable from baby formula to baby clothes to kids' clothes to kids toys to kids bicycles to kids' video games. This way, the people who have children that need to be educated and agree to go on a “free public system“ will be footing the bill. The rest of us could choose a more quality, rational form of education, such as private school or homeschooling and can choose to pay more for that superior product. With encouraging more schools to open up and releasing the stranglehold of the NJEA, more competition will lead to lower tuition.
Those who don’t have any children at all can be free from the economic enslavement of the ridiculously high rate of property tax that has now become a generational nightmare in New Jersey. One of our callers said when discussing this Wednesday, “They've got a find the money somewhere else so all kinds of taxes and fees will be added in somewhere so you’re still going to have to pay in the end". And he’s a retired teacher!
Another part of the equation is cutting the pensions and benefits of new teachers coming into the system or are already in the system for less than five years. Then severely reduce the size of administration, staff and properties. Consolidation is another way to cut costs. It's something people have talked about for years, but no one has been serious enough to make it happen.
People in New Jersey have been griping about property taxes for at least 40 years. The best they can come up with now is to cut seniors' property tax in half up to a certain point. This should placate and satisfy many seniors. What do seniors do more than the rest of the population? They vote! Bingo. Once again, it’s a self-preservation move and just another gimmick to get reelected and not face the real problem, which is wrestling with the giant 600-pound gorilla that is the NJEA.
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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.
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