Fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, new S2 formula among Jack Ciattarelli priorities
There are less than three weeks until Election Day 2021 and in football terms, it's the 4th quarter reaching the 2-minute warning, so each candidate in every race including for Governor is making their final push for office.
The race for New Jersey Governor has heated up over the last month as Phil Murphy and Jack Ciattarelli have taken the state in two debates to discuss current issues and how to help New Jerseyans.
Jack Ciattarelli came by our Townsquare Media Jersey Shore newsroom (92.7-WOBM, 94.3ThePoint, 105.7TheHawk and Beach 104.1) in Toms River to explain his plans for residents, businesses and others who live and work in New Jersey discussing topics and issues facing the state including highest in the nation property taxes, developing a new School Funding Formula, help businesses grow and stay in NJ, handling the Covid-19 pandemic, the state of Police and more.
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New Jersey's Economic Climate, Taxes:
The state budget under Governor Phil Murphy has gone up $11-billion dollars (about 30-percent) and on top of that he took out a $10-billion loan, which at some point and overtime has to be paid back from a state that has the highest taxes in the nation.
There are financial concerns, fiscal doldrums in the present and for the foreseeable future in the Garden State and its residents and businesses.
Ciattarelli wants to try and put a dent into that debt.
"No Governor has been more fiscally irresponsible than Phil Murphy. Here's what he's done in less than four years in office: he's raised personal taxes, income taxes, property taxes are up, gas taxes are up, tolls were increased, he borrowed $4.5-million dollars he didn't need to, he didn't even put a callable feature on the bonds," Ciattarelli tells Townsquare Media News. "This is a guy who worked on Wall Street, 'why wouldn't you put a callable feature?' This way you wouldn't need the bonds, you can call them back in. Now, we're going to be paying interest and principle for the next 12-15 years on those bonds."
The SALT Cap:
There is a cap of $15,000 for a write-off of property taxes on State Tax Returns for New Jersey residents put into effect by Governor Murphy with regards to the SALT Cap, something he has shown opposition to for the state.
"He told us that if Joe Biden was the President, we'd get back our SALT deduction in New Jersey, the ability to deduct state and local taxes on your federal tax return, which gives us a little bit of a break for all the high taxes we pay here in New Jersey and that's not going too well in Washington, Joe Biden has said that he's opposed," Ciattarelli said.
Affordability, Budget, Business Climate:
People are leaving New Jersey and moving elsewhere for all kinds of reasons, personal or economic or something else, but with regards to affordability businesses and some residents are leaving to find a state where they don't have to worry as much about bills and economic survival.
When a solution can be developed to help out residents and businesses survive and thrive, we may see more people stay in New Jersey.
Ciattarelli said he has plans to reform the tax code and develop solutions to ease these financial burdens.
"I refuse to be the governor of a state that has the highest property taxes in the nation and is the worst state in the country in which to do business," Ciattarelli said. "We're going to die a slow economic death here in New Jersey and it's not just people who are fleeing here in New Jersey, look at last month up in Bergen County, Nabisco moved out after 63-years and took hundreds of good paying middle-class jobs with it."
Ciattarelli explains that he not only wants to restore order to the financial situations facing businesses but also make New Jersey more competitive and ultimately a top state to do business with in the country.
"I don't just want to compete, I want to declare economic war on our neighbors because right now Pennsylvania, Delaware, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Texas are eating our lunch," Ciattarelli said.
The businesses and restaurants in New Jersey who remain, some, even many, are becoming more innovative out of necessity to keep their doors open and bring in more workers on top of being able to provide them with enough support to keep them in state as oppose to heading out to set up shop.
"We need tax policy that works for all businesses of all sizes, large, medium and small. For large businesses, like Nabisco, I think that we should adopt Delaware's bi-laws for corporate governance. You've all heard of the Delaware Corporation, Nevada did that 10-years ago and it worked wonders for them, let's adopt Delaware's bi-laws for corporate governance," Ciattarelli said. "Let's cut the corporate tax rate which is now the highest in the nation under Phil Murphy, let's cut it in half over a five-year period. For small businesses, let's make the first $50,000 of business income tax-free...that would help mom-and-pop shops on mainstream which are the real backbone of the New Jersey economy."
School Funding Formula, Property Taxes:
The well documented School Funding Formula (S2) has dealt a dagger to a great many school districts in Ocean and Monmouth Counties as well as across the state.
Whether or not you have children in a school district though, you are very likely helping foot the bill as it ties into your taxes both state and local.
If you want lower state and as a result local taxes, Ciattarelli explains that there needs to be a new/revised School Funding Formula in New Jersey.
"We all know that property tax has three pieces: municipal tax which is usually 10-20 percent, the county tax which is 10-20 percent and then the school tax can be anywhere from 60-80 percent of your property tax bill," Ciattarelli said. "We need a new School Funding Formula. The way that we distribute state aid to schools is unfair, it's arbitrary, it's nefarious...I'll go as far as to say unconstitutional violating the equal benefit clause of our state constitution which says no community is suppose to suffer at the expense of another."
At the Jersey Shore alone, Brick, Jackson, Lavallette, Little Egg Harbor, Manchester, Point Pleasant Beach, Point Pleasant Borough and Toms River from Ocean County and Eatontown, Freehold Regional, Keansburg, Manalapan-Englishtown, Monmouth Regional, Neptune, Roosevelt, Tinton Falls and Ocean from Monmouth County are among those losing state aid from the current School Funding Formula.
"We'll have a flatter, more equitable distribution of state aid to schools under Governor Ciattarelli. I won't leave any child behind, I won't leave any community behind, I won't adversely affect the quality of education but we need a more flatter and equitable distribution of state aid to schools that will lower the school tax portion of your property tax bill and in turn your property tax bill overall," Ciattarelli said.
The School Funding Formula Ciattarelli has in mind will distribute the aid in a couple ways.
"We're going to come up with a new formula and I believe something along the lines of X for every english speaking student, Y for every english language learner with Y being more than X and the state taking over the cost of special education," Ciattarelli said. "That is equitable, that will provide a flatter, more equitable distribution of state aid so that all 600 of our school districts across the state are on a level playing field."
You can learn more about Jack Ciattarelli's plans to address the economy, state finances, the school funding formula, handling the Covid-19 pandemic including leaving the decision to vaccinate/mask kids up to parents, the state of Police, Climate Change/Environment and more in the video below.