State legislators opposing tax increases proposed in budget : News Room : The Van Drew Team for Change : Jeff Van Drew, Bob Andrzejczak and Bruce Land
State legislators opposing tax increases proposed in budget
The letters and e-mails keep coming. Hundreds of First District constituents telling me and my Assembly colleagues, Nelson Albano and Matt Milam, that they can not afford increasing taxes, fees, tolls, and regulatory charges that continue to add to their financial burden – especially given the economic tailspin our state and our country is experiencing. We are opposed to the budget as it is presently constructed. We’ve been fighting a long battle to have the state government run in a more fiscally responsible way. We support restrictions on additional spending in order to lessen our state’s reliance on taxes, particularly as a means of combating the seemingly constant increases in so many tax rates throughout the state. We are also opposed to one-time budget gimmicks that hurt taxpayers in the long-run. My Assembly colleagues and I believe that now more than ever, we have to get the government of the state of New Jersey under control. We are facing one of the greatest economic challenges of anyone’s lifetime. Never before has the need for fiscal reform and fiscal sanity been more pronounced.New Jersey is a state that has already been taxed, fee’d, tolled and burdened its residents enough. Assemblymen Albano and Milam and I are strongly and strenuously opposing new taxes or fees, including proposals such as a saltwater fishing license fee, a water runoff tax, an increase the motor vehicles tax, an increase in the realty transfer tax, an expansion of the gasoline tax, raising the excise tax and others. We also cannot afford to grant lower in-state tuition to illegal aliens, and the state should not even be discussing allowing illegal residents to obtain a driver’s license – no ifs, ands or buts.
But we have gone well beyond simply opposing the state’s spendthrift policies. Instead of increasing the cost of government, we need to find ways to run the government more tightly and more efficiently. That is why my Assembly colleagues and I have proposed a Multi-Point Plan that focuses squarely on the issues we believe are important. Below is a summary of the bills we have introduced.
- A Constitutional amendment that would require voter approval before the state is permitted to borrow money. That bill has been signed into law.
- A Constitutional amendment that would require the state to spend or base a budget upon recurring revenues – in other words, don’t spend what you don’t have.
- Legislation requiring the state to reduce government bureaucracy by10 percent.
- Constitutionally mandate a cap on government spending.
- Legislation making mandatory a 10 percent reduction in the number of state employees in the executive branch in Trenton.
- Legislation creating a Constitutionally required “Rainy Day” fund that could only be used for off-setting lower than expected revenues – in other words, don’t spend every dollar that comes to the state coffers.
- Legislation requiring the state to replace the costly and unnecessary printing of official reports and other documents with the same information to be made available online.
- Legislation being drafted that would reduce the number vehicles in the government fleet by 10 percent a year over the next five years, that would save 50 percent of the cost of operating the government fleet.
- We believe the state can purchase goods and services more inexpensively by using its state contracting authority more competitively. We have heard from many people that these goods and services can found at less cost to the taxpayer by simply making its state contracts more competitive.
- Eliminate the stipend paid to prisoners for performing duties such as road cleanup, etc. We believe that by doing so, the state could save a significant amount of money.
The foregoing are just some of the viable alternatives Assemblymen Albano, Milam and I have offered to the current budget proposal. We believe these proposals will reduce spending by the state government, provide some relief for our taxpayers and set the wheels of fiscal reform in motion to ensure that our children and grandchildren do have to feel the pain we are.
I can assure you that my First District legislative team will continue to drive home the importance of our over-arching goals on these fiscal issues, and will be strong advocates for the specifics of our multi-point plan for fixing New Jersey. You sent us to Trenton to do just that, and we are doing our best to fulfill our commitment to you.