Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Christie intensifies his campaign to cut taxes on the wealthy

On Monday afternoon, two employees were basking in the sun on the third floor of the Bergen County Administration Building in Hackensack.


After reading The Record's Page 1 story today, good luck trying to figure out whether you'll benefit from a proposed "grand bargain" to fund the state's transportation network.

Clearly, Governor Christie doesn't like the plan, claiming it's "about a $1.4 billion tax increase." 

And he wants the estate tax phased out in two years, instead of three years, if gas taxes are raised about 23 cents a gallon (A-1 and A-10).

But the story by Staff Writer Christopher Maag leaves many questions unanswered, especially whether the middle class would benefit from a phaseout of taxes on estates of more than $675,000.

In New Jersey, you can leave everything you own to your spouse, and none of it will be taxed.

Still, phasing out the estate tax won't affect another state tax, this one ranging from 11% to 16% on inherited property over $25,000.

EV fee

And the compromise between Democratic and Republican state senators includes an extra $150 every time an owner registers an all-electric car "to offset lost gas-tax revenue" (A-10).

There are an estimated 2,500 all-electric vehicles or EVs registered in New Jersey, so that would raise $375,000 a year.

You can bet that any plan Christie signs will benefit the wealthy, who have been laughing all the way to the bank since he repeatedly vetoed a tax surcharge on millionaires that would have raised $1 billion for the cash-strapped state.

It's also unclear whether a proposal "to double state aid to local and county governments for transportation projects, to $400 million annually," would lead to repair of local streets, roads and highways, which are in deplorable condition.

Orlando and 9/11

The Record's Mike Kelly is a homophobic opinion columnist who apparently has no opinions to offer on the massacre of 49 people in a gay nightclub on Sunday (A-1).

That's probably why he's comparing the slaughter in Orlando, Fla., to the 9/11 attacks on America nearly 15 years ago, calling both the "the work of terrorists."

He hides his true feelings about the targeted deaths of innocent gays and lesbians by retreating into the past, when he covered the 9/11 attacks and investigative hearings ad nauseam.

And what's the point of decrying "the partisanship and political bickering that has divided the nation for months during the presidential primary season" when Kelly and so many other members of the news media have been focusing on nothing else?

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