Without relief, property owners hit hard by illness or income loss will have to cover payments due May 1 or incur penalties
By JOHN REITMEYER , NJSpotlight
To ease the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic, New Jersey homeowners have been granted mortgage relief from banks and a reprieve from evictions. But no such help has been approved thus far from local property tax bills.
That means many homeowners who are dealing with economic hardships caused by severe illness, the loss of a job or a shuttered business are also being forced to cover quarterly property tax payments by a state-imposed May 1 deadline.
Potentially making matters worse for thousands of New Jersey homeowners is the state’s recent freezing of all funding for the next installment of Homestead property-tax relief benefits. They were supposed to be paid out by the state as direct credits to effectively reduce those May quarterly bills, but Trenton is facing its own economic shortfalls.
New Jersey’s school funding shakeupcontinues with Gov. Phil Murphy’s 2021 state budget proposal, producing another round of winners and losers.The annual changes range from a $55 million increase for Newark Public Schools to a $55 million decrease for Jersey City, which is losing state dollars because of its strengthened local tax base. (Find out how much Murphy proposed for your district in the search tool below.)The governor’s $9 billion investment in K-12 schools increases funding by $336 million, but only 64% of districts will receive more money. A small fraction of districts, just 12, are… Read the rest of this entry »
Did President Donald Trump inadvertently give the New Jersey Republicans a gift horse? It is no secret that the cap of $10,000 on the deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) will hit many Garden State residents hard. Many residents of the Hudson County Gold Coast are paying $20,000 to $30,000 in property taxes plus New Jersey income and sales taxes, and New York City and state income taxes. These residents are used to taking the full SALT deduction from their federal taxes and often receive a tax refund from the Treasury. Now there is a high probability that these people will be sending a check to the Treasury instead of receiving one. Some will blame the president for the additional tax liability, but the national tax laws have to be applied equally. Where the changes hurt New Jersey they actually help Texas since Texas has much lower property taxes and no state income tax. So why is this a gift horse?
Declan O’Scanlon, the Assembly Republican Budget Officer and the Senator-elect from the 13th Legislative District, today urged Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to allow the New Jersey General Assembly to vote on permanently extending the interest arbitration cap for public worker salaries.
TRENTON, N.J. – A month after releasing his report of the Arbitration Award Task Force that recommends permanently extending the cap, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) proposed a comprehensive plan to ensure the policies continue to keep property taxes from rapidly increasing. He released the following statement:
“If we’re going to be honest, as effective policy makers it’s incumbent upon us to do the hard work, master the facts and policy nuances before us, and present cogent proposals to the public and the legislature. This list of policy proposals is me doing my job.
“The inescapable logic of permanently tying the arbitration award cap to the property tax cap isn’t hard to grasp. It is fourth-grade math. Any candidate or legislator who claims he needs ‘more information’ or that ‘all the facts aren’t in’ is feigning, in most cases, stupidity to avoid responsibility. Parents try to teach their children to reject such self-demoralizing choices. Read the rest of this entry »
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, not the Democrat nominee for Governor, declared that the best interests of his city’s residents and taxpayers prevailed, according to Hudson County View.
The arbitrator’s decision will enable Mayor Fulop and the city council to keep their budget within the two-percent levy cap and hold the line on property taxes from substantially increasing.
“This is not a day where we say that we won, but rather that the best interest of the city, its residents and the taxpayers prevailed,” Fulop said in a statement reported by HCV.
“We have negotiated successfully with six of the city’s other unions to adopt measures that correct many of the outdated contract provisions and worked productively with the unions for the benefit of their members and the public. Unfortunately, the POBA chose a different route and an independent arbitrator was required.”
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today called on Fulop to join him in challenging Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to put legislation making the cap permanent up for vote in the Assembly. Read the rest of this entry »
Like Kevin Asadi and other residents, I recently received the letter from Senate candidate Vin Gopal which denounces the Assessment Demonstration Program (the “ADP”), implemented in 2013, as the source of high property taxes.
Since I have run in four state elections in Monmouth County, I have been in Mr. Gopal’s shoes. Political operatives refer to the weeks before an election as the “silly season”, since candidates will say almost anything about their opponents to generate a headline.
However, there is a line which should never be crossed – candidates should not issue false or misleading information, since it not only subjects them to legal liability, but most importantly, it does a disservice to taxpayers. Read the rest of this entry »
TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon released today the report of the Arbitration Award Task Force as recommended by four of the eight members. The report outlines the success of the arbitration award cap in enabling municipal officials to maintain budgets within the 2 percent property-tax cap and curb property-tax increases to historically low levels, and recommends making the cap on arbitration awards permanent before the policy is scheduled to sunset on Dec. 31.
“The data contained in this report is beyond clear and convincing; it is overwhelming,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “It would be irresponsible for the Legislature not to take action. In fact, any legislator that fails to advocate for continuation of the arbitration award cap will be, by extension, advocating for the obliteration of the property tax cap and higher property taxes. There is no middle ground here. Mark my words; if the cap isn’t permanently extended taxpayers will unquestionably face much more dramatic property tax increases and cuts to municipal services.”
During a vote Monday to release the report, the task force was deadlocked 4-4. Union representatives blocked the report’s endorsement. O’Scanlon, who voted to release the report, is the only legislator appointed by the governor to sit on the task force. Read the rest of this entry »
TRENTON — New Jersey’s 2 percent cap on police and firefighter arbitration awards must be renewed, or else taxpayers will see their services cut and property taxes rise, local government leaders said Friday. The cap on awards police and fire unions can win through interest arbitration sunsets at the end of the year. New Jersey mayors… Read the rest of this entry »
TRENTON, N.J. – Calling the arbitration award cap one of the most important reforms implemented to control property taxes, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon said today that if the cap isn’t permanently extended taxpayers will face tax increases, draconian cuts to municipal services or both. O’Scanlon was a prime sponsor of the original cap law and vocal advocate of the extension. He was the only legislator appointed by the governor to sit on the Interest Arbitration Task Force.
“There’s no question that the cap has been successful and is an essential tool for municipalities to keep expenses and property taxes contained,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “Every report we’ve done to date has been absolutely consistent and shows the arbitration and tax cap are working together as intended. You can’t keep the tax cap in place without the arbitration cap. You would create a mathematically untenable situation. And it isn’t just police and fire salary costs that are affected, there is a ripple effect throughout all salary expenses.” Read the rest of this entry »