Woolley and Amoroso come out swinging in LD 11

Republican Assembly candidates condemn Murphy’s budget and tax hikes 

LD 11 Assembly Candidates Matt Woolley and Mike Amoroso

Matt Woolley and Mike Amoroso, the presumptive Republican nominees for Assembly in the 11th legislative district denounced Governor Murphy’s “reckless state budget proposal”in a statement released on Tuesday evening.

“Despite Governor Murphy’s characterization, there is nothing ‘responsible’ or ‘fair’ about his budget proposal. His irresponsible plan will continue to force residents to flee from New Jersey to low-cost states, amplifying the financial burden for those who remain and already struggle to live here,” said Woolley, 29, of Ocean Township. “$1.2 billion in new spending, in addition to last year’s $2.7 billion budget increase, only hurts the state’s middle class.”

“New Jersey taxpayers should be very worried today,” said Amoroso, 50, the President of the Freehold Township Board of Education. “Instead of adding more taxes on the backs of hardworking residents, our leadership in Trenton needs new, creative talent to finally work toward solving the current tax and spend frenzy.”

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Posted: March 6th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: 11th Legislative District, 2019 elections, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

O’Scanlon legislation would keep road work going, keep Monmouth Park open, in the event of a NJ shutdown

Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth County) announced that he will introduce two bills tomorrow in the NJ Senate tomorrow that, if enacted, would lessen the destructive aspects of a state government shutdown.

Governor Phil Murphy and the Democrat leaders in the legislature, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, are thus far deadlocked over their competing proposals to raise taxes on New Jersey residents, tourists and businesses.   If they are unable to come to an agreement, and get the legislature to concur, by midnight tomorrow, the government will shutdown.

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Posted: June 29th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Christie and Murphy Exchange Christmas Greetings and Budget Barbs

That really short honeymoon is over. Gov. Chris Christie and Gov.-elect Phil Murphy are at odds over the incoming governor’s request that Christie refrain from spending extra money or doing anything to worsen the state’s finances during his final month in office. Murphy’s 14-item request came in the form of a letter sent to Christie’s office… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: December 12th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, New Jersey, Phil Murphy | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments »

Egos, revenge & secret deals: The inside story of The Jersey Shutdown, 2017

(Editor’s note: This story was reported and written by Matt Arco, Brent Johnson, and Susan K. Livio of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com.) TRENTON — When Gov. Chris Christie signed the final state budget of his career shortly before 3 a.m. Tuesday, it ended the most contentious political drama New Jersey has seen in more than… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: July 7th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

O’Scanlon: We MUST move forward on pension and budget reform

By Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Now that the 2016 budget debate is over, we must get back to the most pressing state issue of our time.  The suggestion of some in the public worker sector that those of us who voted against the budget are in favor of our abandoning our commitment to ensuring their pensions is completely false.  For any responsible elected official, and decent human being, it is imperative that we meet our commitments in a way that protects our pubic workers – and the NJ economy at the same time.

The reason we couldn’t make a payment larger than the $1.3 billion one included in the Governor’s budget has nothing to do with a lack of will or integrity.  It’s about devoting as much $ as possible without inflicting massive, economy-killing, tax increases on an economy just now showing signs of real growth.  Without economic growth there will be no chance we will be able to meet our commitments to the system in the many years to come – so ensuring growth is as important to public workers as anyone else.  We don’t simply have a $1.8 billion deficit this year. We have a $6 to $7 billion hole over the next few years. Taxing the life out of our economy this year, with no plan going forward – and leaving us in a $2 billion hole next year as the Democrat’s proposed budget would – is bad policy, for all New Jerseyans.

But it is true as well that we can’t foster growth to the exclusion of our obligation to our dedicated public workers.  And I can’t state that point vehemently enough.  Our teachers and other public workers are decent, devoted, professional people.  Generalizations to the contrary are without merit.

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Posted: July 11th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2015 Legislative Races, Declan O'Scanlon, Economy, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments »

O’Scanlon: There’s no silver bullet to resolve New Jersey’s budget issues

By Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

declan-oscanlon-budgetPoliticians like to talk about budgetary issues and challenges in pieces -ignoring the big-picture, and inconvenient,  collateral effects of their proposed solutions. Even the public, and well-meaning editorial boards, fall prey to this segmentation mentality hoping there is an answer that doesn’t eviscerate their particular sacred cow.  Throw in the fact that there is a general belief in a magic bullet that will fix our budget problems and you have a dangerous mix of ignorance and irrational expectation.  It is time to clear that up.  Governor Christie is right when he says our budget problems are serious. The solutions are going to be painful.

First, let’s understand that the causes of the problem are rooted in the actions, over the last 20 years, of legislators and governors – Republicans and Democrats – who were either well-meaning, but ultimately ill-informed, or those who consciously opted for political expediency knowing their actions would ultimately bankrupt the state.  The former motivation is sad, the latter reprehensible.

Making certain assumptions about things we can and can’t fund, our structural deficit is around $6.75 billion – inclusive of $1.6 billion in transportation investment per year but exclusive of things we’d love to do like cut property taxes.

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Posted: December 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Analysis: Would an Elected Comptroller Solve NJ’s Pension Crisis?

2349New York State comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli. New York and New Jersey are high-cost states that share a regional economy, high state and local government payrolls and benefit plans, a wealthy tax base, and a scandal-ridden Port Authority. What the two states don’t share is a massive pension crisis and the poor bond ratings that go… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, NJ State Legislature, Pensions | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tax revenues indicate that New Jersey’s economy is on the upswing



New Jersey’s tax revenues exceeded projections for the seventh consecutive month and income tax collections were the highest ever in June, even without a “millionaires tax.”

The Treasury Department announced yesterday, that income tax collections in fiscal 2013 were 12.4% higher that in fiscal 2012 (the fiscal year ends on June 30) and sale tax collections increased 3.7%.

The State’s fiscal 2013 revenue collections through June totaled $25.6 billion, $1.58 billion higher than in fiscal 2012.

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Posted: July 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Economy, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Christie responds to report of budget shortfall

The Office of Legislative Services released a report this morning stating that New Jersey’s state government revenues for last fiscal year were $253 million short of the Christie administration’s projections.  Last month OLS said the FY2012 shortfall was $542 million.

Governor Chris Christie responded this afternoon:


Posted: September 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, New Jersey State Budget | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Why The Income Tax Cut Matters

Income Tax Cut Is Good For Business

By Senator Tom Kean, Jr

To hear the Governor’s critics tell it, New Jersey’s high income tax rates have no effect on our economic health. To them, the income tax can be raised without consequence to our economy, while reducing rates yields little or no benefit.

New Jersey’s business leaders- the entities responsible for employing the vast majority of the state’s workforce- disagree, however.

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association, representing 21, 500 businesses of all types in the Garden State, lauds the Governor’s proposed 10% reduction in the income tax as “the best thing you can do for taxes”. Noting that the majority of businesses file under the personal income tax rather than the corporate income tax, NJBIA says the proposal will give savings to “80% of the business community”.

More telling, however, is what individual small business owners and operators are saying upon learning of the Governor’s proposal.

“It signals your government is working with you, and that you’ve got government at your side at a tough time,” says a proprietor of a Hoboken print shop.

“I believe it to be a proposal that, in fact, could significantly alter New Jersey’s favorability rating, in terms of being a destination of choice,” said the president of a Linden-based manufacturing outfit.

Republican legislators join the Governor’s call for an income tax reduction because we trust the real world experience of job creators. Who better to help guide New Jersey on a path toward sustainable, good paying jobs than the people who do the hiring?

Democratic critics are putting their faith in higher taxes, more spending and bigger government as the solution to the problem. If history is any indication their trust is misplaced, given that the exponential increase in state spending, taxes, and debt we saw from 2002 through 2009 coincided with the loss of 150, 000 jobs.

Coincidentally, these are the same Democrats who raised taxes on middle class families repeatedly during those years, taxing everything from utility bills and car tires to gym memberships and home ownership. Their credibility on helping the middle class is suspect at best.

Smart income tax policy is good jobs policy, and New Jersey is currently at a severe disadvantage in a competition for jobs with neighboring states.

Pennsylvania’s 3.07% income tax rate is far more attractive than the 6.37% rate many middle income families and small business owners pay in New Jersey, and certainly preferable for businesses that file at the state’s 8.97% top rate.

New Jersey lost more residents to Pennsylvania- over 20, 000- than any other state in 2010. That figure is roughly one-third of the total population loss New Jersey experienced that year. The economic and cultural impacts of these moves are real.

The engines of job creation and population growth in America, states like Texas, Florida, and the Carolinas, have tax rates that either are far lower than New Jersey’s or no income tax altogether.

It cannot be sheer coincidence that the states experiencing economic success are ones that have favorable tax climates as compared with the rest of the nation. Income tax levies are a substantial factor in a state’s overall business climate and economic growth.

Opponents of the Governor’s tax cut plan in the Legislature are trying to confuse the issue by changing the subject to property taxes. I agree that New Jersey’s highest in the nation property taxes are the shame of our state and must not only be contained, but lowered. Unfortunately, the Democrats’ plan to use state tax revenues to offset local levies is unlikely to reduce a single county, municipal, or school tax rate.

Their plan is a state incentive for property tax increases, not a solution for reducing them. Permanently lowering property taxes requires us to help local governments control labor costs, share services, and live within their means so that fewer tax dollars are needed to operate.

The effort to reduce property tax bills need not, and should not, come at the expense of job creation and economic growth in New Jersey.

Income taxes do matter to our economic health and jobs climate. Businesses, and the experiences of states that have successfully attracted job growth, show this to be the case. It is time that New Jersey start listening to them in order to strengthen our economic future.

State Sen. Tom Kean, Jr., R- Union, serves as the Senate’s Republican leader.

Posted: February 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, New Jersey State Budget | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »