Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Jersey's Problems

New Jersey has it's own set of problems that make direct parallels with NYS challenging, but I think we can agree that the NJ Governor is being upfront and honest about the challenges they face. Expect similar honesty from Governor Paterson.

"The cuts will affect everything from school breakfast programs to mosquito control to equipment for the state police. The governor even is proposing a wage freeze for state workers, which union leaders are rejecting, and reducing state payments to the pension fund. More cuts may be needed considering the state's falling revenues and the deepening recession.

Unfortunately, it's property owners who will pay the price for these cuts, not only because of a reduction in services provided by the state this year, but also in increased property taxes next year when the state will have a projected $5 billion budget deficit. Depending on the state of the economy and state revenues, the budget gap could be even more. It's a simple mathematical equation: If the state cuts funds to schools and aid to cities, local property taxpayers have to make up the shortfall or schools and municipalities have to cut programs and services -- a double whammy on local communities."

I've said for some time that this is the dilemma facing NYS - cut jobs, raise taxes, and/or cut services. Funny, I didn't hear anyone running in the recent election mention that as a campaign slogan --- "I promise to eliminate 35% of state and county employees or raise your real estate taxes 24% or eliminate plowing on weekends and evenings." Now that's someone that would get my vote (however, they would probably lose the election 17,042,028 to 1).

None of the choices are going to make you popular, but these are the hard choices that have to be made.

Cheers!

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