Thread: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie defends cuts, promotes property tax cap in Rutherford

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  1. #1 N.J. Gov. Chris Christie defends cuts, promotes property tax cap in Rutherford 
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    Tuesday, May 25, 2010
    Last updated: Tuesday May 25, 2010, 10:21 PM
    BY HERB JACKSON
    The Record
    Washington Correspondent

    RUTHERFORD — Governor Christie on Tuesday told a borough teacher to find another job if she did not feel she was compensated enough as he defended his state budget cuts and promoted a plan to cap annual growth in property tax collections.

    He also told an 89-year-old former mayor she'd have to wait until next spring for a rebate she'd been getting for more than a decade in the late summer. And he told a parent that cuts to services, including the local library, are needed because "we are out of money."

    A largely friendly crowd of about 150 people turned out in a church gymnasium to hear Christie deliver a half-hour talk that trashed greedy public employee unions and state laws that handcuff local officials trying to control spending.

    He then opened the floor to questions. A few were softballs, including the declaration by Clara Nebot of Bergenfield that Christie is "a god" to her relatives in Florida.

    But borough teacher Rita Wilson, a Kearny resident, argued that if she were paid $3 an hour for the 30 children in her class, she’d be earning $83,000, and she makes nothing near that.

    "You’re getting more than that if you include the cost of your benefits," Christie interrupted.

    When Wilson, who has a master’s degree, said she was not being compensated for her education and experience, Christie said:

    "Well, you know then that you don’t have to do it." Some in the audience applauded.

    Christie said he would not have had to impose cuts to education if the teachers union had agreed to his call for a one-year salary freeze and a 1.5 percent increase in employee benefit contributions.

    "Your union said that is the greatest assault on public education in the history of the state," Christie said. "That’s why the union has no credibility, stupid statements like that."

    Surrounded by reporters after she spoke, Wilson said she was shaking from the encounter, and worried she might get in trouble for speaking out.

    Christie has outlined a "toolkit" to address New Jersey’s property taxes, which on average are among the highest in the country. The centerpiece is a proposed constitutional amendment that would impose a 2.5 percent cap on the annual increase in the local property tax levy, which is the total amount of taxes collected each year from towns, school boards and county government.

    "What it’s going to do is impose discipline on every level of government," Christie said, adding that 30 years of previous efforts by Trenton to control property taxes failed.

    Christine Beidel said she was worried that Christie was trying to control local communities' ability to raise money at the same time cuts in state aid to the borough could force the local library to close.

    "You’re cutting and cutting and cutting and there's no way to make up the difference," she said.

    Christie told her that unlike the federal government, the state cannot print money. He said that under his proposal, a community could exceed the 2.5 percent cap if the increase is approved in a local referendum.

    Margaret Schak, who was mayor of Rutherford in 1976, asked about the state program that "freezes" the amount that senior citizens who meet income requirements have to pay in property taxes. The program, created in 1997, provides a rebate to offset any increase a homeowner pays.

    Christie said he wasn't cutting the program, but he was temporarily preventing newly eligible seniors from enrolling. He also said he was going to change the program from a rebate paid in the late summer or fall to a tax credit put on the tax bill the following spring.

    That means Schak, who said her rebate was about $2,400 last year, will not get a check this year and instead will have to wait until 2011 for the credit to lower her tax bill.

    The meeting at the parish gymnasium of First Presbyterian Church on Ridge Road is the third Christie has held to tout his property tax plan. He urged the audience to contact their state legislators to support the package.

    "It is time. It is time for us to take the next march in the battle of change," Christie said. "It’s not about Republicans and not about Democrats, it's about New Jerseyans and who's going to be left in the state if we don't do this."

    E-mail: jackson@northjersey.com

    RUTHERFORD — Governor Christie on Tuesday told a borough teacher to find another job if she did not feel she was compensated enough as he defended his state budget cuts and promoted a plan to cap annual growth in property tax collections.

    He also told an 89-year-old former mayor she'd have to wait until next spring for a rebate she'd been getting for more than a decade in the late summer. And he told a parent that cuts to services, including the local library, are needed because "we are out of money."

    A largely friendly crowd of about 150 people turned out in a church gymnasium to hear Christie deliver a half-hour talk that trashed greedy public employee unions and state laws that handcuff local officials trying to control spending.

    He then opened the floor to questions. A few were softballs, including the declaration by Clara Nebot of Bergenfield that Christie is "a god" to her relatives in Florida.

    But borough teacher Rita Wilson, a Kearny resident, argued that if she were paid $3 an hour for the 30 children in her class, she’d be earning $83,000, and she makes nothing near that.

    "You’re getting more than that if you include the cost of your benefits," Christie interrupted.

    When Wilson, who has a master’s degree, said she was not being compensated for her education and experience, Christie said:

    "Well, you know then that you don’t have to do it." Some in the audience applauded.

    Christie said he would not have had to impose cuts to education if the teachers union had agreed to his call for a one-year salary freeze and a 1.5 percent increase in employee benefit contributions.

    "Your union said that is the greatest assault on public education in the history of the state," Christie said. "That’s why the union has no credibility, stupid statements like that."

    Surrounded by reporters after she spoke, Wilson said she was shaking from the encounter, and worried she might get in trouble for speaking out.

    Christie has outlined a "toolkit" to address New Jersey’s property taxes, which on average are among the highest in the country. The centerpiece is a proposed constitutional amendment that would impose a 2.5 percent cap on the annual increase in the local property tax levy, which is the total amount of taxes collected each year from towns, school boards and county government.

    "What it’s going to do is impose discipline on every level of government," Christie said, adding that 30 years of previous efforts by Trenton to control property taxes failed.

    Christine Beidel said she was worried that Christie was trying to control local communities' ability to raise money at the same time cuts in state aid to the borough could force the local library to close.

    "You’re cutting and cutting and cutting and there's no way to make up the difference," she said.

    Christie told her that unlike the federal government, the state cannot print money. He said that under his proposal, a community could exceed the 2.5 percent cap if the increase is approved in a local referendum.

    Margaret Schak, who was mayor of Rutherford in 1976, asked about the state program that "freezes" the amount that senior citizens who meet income requirements have to pay in property taxes. The program, created in 1997, provides a rebate to offset any increase a homeowner pays.

    Christie said he wasn't cutting the program, but he was temporarily preventing newly eligible seniors from enrolling. He also said he was going to change the program from a rebate paid in the late summer or fall to a tax credit put on the tax bill the following spring.

    That means Schak, who said her rebate was about $2,400 last year, will not get a check this year and instead will have to wait until 2011 for the credit to lower her tax bill.

    The meeting at the parish gymnasium of First Presbyterian Church on Ridge Road is the third Christie has held to tout his property tax plan. He urged the audience to contact their state legislators to support the package.

    "It is time. It is time for us to take the next march in the battle of change," Christie said. "It’s not about Republicans and not about Democrats, it's about New Jerseyans and who's going to be left in the state if we don't do this."

    E-mail: jackson@northjersey.com

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/stat....html?page=all
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  2. #2  
    CU's Tallest Midget! PoliCon's Avatar
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    It cracks me up that the teacher is attacking the governor on this when the union IMO is clearly to blame. All they needed to do was accept a salary freeze for one year and an 1.5% increase in employee benefit contributions. So her co-pay would be a little bit higher and her salary would have been frozen instead of the cuts. But the left NEVER blames the uions.
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  3. #3  
    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    It cracks me up that the teacher is attacking the governor on this when the union IMO is clearly to blame. All they needed to do was accept a salary freeze for one year and an 1.5% increase in employee benefit contributions. So her co-pay would be a little bit higher and her salary would have been frozen instead of the cuts. But the left NEVER blames the uions.

    Some of us do. I don't really like my union very much, they sold us down the river a while ago. They only fight republican governors. They did make us a good deal for once this year, and managed to avoid furlough days. Instead, we get paid in extra vacation time for a couple of hours a pay period. A much better deal. I've never cashed in any of the time I've gotten over the years in similar fashion, and it's in a separate account from my regular vacation time, so they have to pay me every dime of it when I retire. It'll buy me a new car when I retire, if the trend continues into the future. Or pay off my mortgage, or something major like that. I think they are going to put it into a 401k, though, so I won't get a big cash payout for anything but my unused vacation time.
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    NJ is broken. Christie is tying to fix things. I'm not mad at him. Last year we(DOC) took a 1 year freeze. We are also slated to start paying toward our medical this January. I make a good living so I'm not mad. However, what gets me is when they make the rank and file make the sacrifices yet there are positions at the top that can be cut but never are. That's my only beef.
    "Inequality is a false notion propagated by those who are made to feel guilty for what they have by those who are jealous for what they don't"-Former MTV Host Kennedy
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    NJ is broken. Christie is tying to fix things. I'm not mad at him. Last year we(DOC) took a 1 year freeze. We are also slated to start paying toward our medical this January. I make a good living so I'm not mad. However, what gets me is when they make the rank and file make the sacrifices yet there are positions at the top that can be cut but never are. That's my only beef.
    well demand that they make cuts at the top as well. They avoid those because those people have the power to make the politicians look bad in most cases - but if the rank and file demand cuts at the top . . . . that's another story.
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    well demand that they make cuts at the top as well. They avoid those because those people have the power to make the politicians look bad in most cases - but if the rank and file demand cuts at the top . . . . that's another story.
    Oh, believe me. I'm very vocal about it. They've had some big wigs come to our jail recently and I know that they go out of their way to make sure they don't walk onto my housing unit because I'm one who isn't afraid to speak his mind.
    "Inequality is a false notion propagated by those who are made to feel guilty for what they have by those who are jealous for what they don't"-Former MTV Host Kennedy
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  7. #7  
    CU's Tallest Midget! PoliCon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    . . . . because I'm one who isn't afraid to speak his mind.
    :eek: NO! Really?? You MUST be joking!! :D
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    I wish more conservative politicians would tell the media off like Gov. Christie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lacarnut View Post
    I wish more conservative politicians would tell the media off like Gov. Christie.
    yeah, Christie is awesome when talking to the media, I love hearing sarcasm directed at them and it not being pick up it's great :D
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  10. #10  
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    Just to update, it seems as though Ms. Wilson wasn't being completely honest about her salary. In the article mentioned in the original post, it says this:
    But borough teacher Rita Wilson, a Kearny resident, argued that if she were paid $3 an hour for the 30 children in her class, she’d be earning $83,000, and she makes nothing near that.
    Hmm, it appears Ms. Wilson does make "near that". In fact, she makes over that. $86K+. Here is the PDF of the Rutherford school board meeting where her salary was voted on and approved: http://www.rutherfordschools.org/boa...071309.min.pdf I love it when these lefties are exposed as the ideological liars that they are.
    Last edited by NJCardFan; 05-27-2010 at 11:20 AM.
    "Inequality is a false notion propagated by those who are made to feel guilty for what they have by those who are jealous for what they don't"-Former MTV Host Kennedy
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