January 29, 2006


Corzine advisers calling for taxes: Their transition report has outlined unpopular budget solutions. N.J. lawmakers joined in a chorus of boos (Kaitlin Gurney, 1/29/06, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Expand the sales tax to include clothes and online purchases. Tax 401(k) retirement accounts. Raise the gas tax. Consider a temporary increase in the state income tax.

With New Jersey's finances "perilously close to ruin," Gov. Corzine's budget advisers have recommended these unpopular solutions and more to fill what they estimate to be a $6 billion hole in the state's budget.

The grim transition report advises the Wall Street financier-turned-governor to immediately prepare plans to lay off state workers and cut government services. It also suggests that Corzine develop ways to control skyrocketing costs for pensions and schools - including raising the state's retirement age and revisiting funding for needy Abbott school districts.

Allow us to be the first to call him Jim Florio Jr..

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 29, 2006 8:11 PM

Yes, all of us here in the Garden State were just thinking, "Dammit, we're undertaxed."

I can just about guarantee the gasoline tax will be raised; it is surprisingly low right now: the cost per gallon of regular is about $2.28 - but bear in mind the state forces the use of an attendant to pump the gas for you (really!)which says the actual state take is lower than you might think....at least until Corzine gets his way.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at January 29, 2006 8:38 PM

Taxing 401ks is one of the stupidest ideas they are floating - you'd think a former Wall Street head honcho would understand that.

MA had a 3bn hole that was closed without taxes and I believe CAs budget hole was closed without massive taxes. If Corzine screws up enough Kean should be able to pick up the Senate seat for the GOP.

Posted by: AWW at January 29, 2006 8:49 PM


C'mon, that got me a summer job in 1980. I can still feel the Benzyne effects....

Posted by: oj at January 29, 2006 8:49 PM

How can a budget crisis following massive spending increases be a surprise every … single … time?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at January 29, 2006 9:47 PM

OJ -

Isn't one of the side effects of Benzene sustained back hair growth?


"A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest"

Any savants out there that can explain NJ's penchant for political corruption and the absurd cost of living, feel free to offer up a theory. I've been here about 6 months, and I just don't get it.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at January 29, 2006 10:07 PM

I may have said this already, but...

until you kill public education's political clout, this will continue unabated.

Further, their cowardice has made Republicans as awful as Democrats on this issue.

Posted by: Bruno at January 29, 2006 10:15 PM

How can they be in the hole?

Even IL's doing better because of the past 3 years.

Is there a study out there showing state balances?

Would be interesting red/blue analysis.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 29, 2006 10:18 PM

Meanwhile, Thomas H. Kean Jr., begins preparing his election night Senate victory speech...

Posted by: John at January 29, 2006 10:38 PM

Sandy: That was my thought exactly. They had better hope the economy doesn't swoon before they get this fixed.

One piece of data in the Red/Blue state budget question: Here in Utah the legislature is trying to figure out what to do with a $1billion dollar surplus. The house voted to get rid of the sales tax on groceries. I think that Vermont, where I grew up is looking at problems funding teacher pensions and Dean's health care plan.

Posted by: Jason Johnson at January 29, 2006 11:14 PM

" Consider a temporary increase in the state income tax."

Temporary, huh? Like the phone tax we're still paying for the Spanish-American War?

Posted by: obc at January 29, 2006 11:30 PM

Did I mention I'm moving to Mexico? They're doing a property tax reassessment in my Jersey town and I dread where they'll go from $4k(On $93k assessed value) a year. I imagine up.

Posted by: Pete at January 29, 2006 11:34 PM

This must be what they mean by "New Jersey ... come see for yourself".

Posted by: John Barrett Jr. at January 30, 2006 1:21 AM