Senators T. Kean & Doherty Ask Senate President Sweeney to Convene Hearings on Tax Abatement Policies
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Mike Doherty, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, sent a letter today to Senate President Steve Sweeney asking him to convene hearings on the subject of tax abatement policy in New Jersey. Tax abatement and tax exemptions were the subject of a recent report released by the Office of the State Comptroller. The letter is attached.
Calls on State Auditor to Examine Accounting and Oversight Practices at DHS
Senator Mike Doherty (R- Warren, Hunterdon) responded today to a recent article in The Record highlighting lax oversight and poor accounting practices at the state Department of Human Services and various family planning centers. The improper practices occurred from 2001 to 2005 and were detailed in reports released by the United States Inspector General in 2007 and 2008.
Calls on Senate to Hold Hearings to Reform Process
Senator Michael Doherty, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding a report issued today by State Comptroller Mathew Boxer that called into question the structure and application of tax abatements throughout New Jersey:
“The State Comptroller is a well respected, non-partisan and independent voice that examines different programs to ensure that the public interest is being pursued and that programs have proper oversight and accountability. In the report issued today, the Comptroller raises serious questions about the effects and effectiveness of tax abatements offered to private developers around the state.
Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee unanimously opposed legislation (Senate Bill No. 2209) advanced by Senate Democrats today that allows local governments to borrow for things that must now be paid for on a pay-as-you-go basis. The legislation allows local governments to skip a required 5% down payment on capital project costs and borrow 100% of project costs instead. The bill will saddle property taxpayers with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional underwriting fees and interest payments to Wall Street.
Senator Michael Doherty, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, expressed optimism today that the inequities inherent in the state school funding formula will be finally addressed during the special summer session on property taxes:
“I applaud Governor Christie for calling this special session to address high property taxes in New Jersey. New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation and we must address this issue immediately.
Today the five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee called on Democrats to concur with Governor Christie’s conditional veto of S-29, a statutory cap on property taxes. His conditional veto would impose a hard cap on property taxes and give voters a say in taxes.
$4.3 Million Returned to 304 State Libraries
Five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee announced today that $4.3 million in funding for public libraries has been restored in next year’s state budget:
“No one denies that this year’s state budget is the most challenging budget in living memory. Of the many necessary savings that were made this year, cutting libraries has been one of the most problematic and difficult,” the members stated.
Department of Military & Veterans Affairs Does Job Efficiently
The five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee commended the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs today for operating efficiently.
It is refreshing to hear that this agency continues to be a responsible steward of public resources. It was made evident today that the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs not only proudly represents the men and women who faithfully served our country, but also operates in an open and cost-effective manner.
The five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, Republican Budget Officer Anthony Bucco and Senators Pennacchio, O’Toole, Oroho and Doherty, issued the following statement regarding the state of the Fiscal Year 2011 budget:
“Years of serial fiscal mismanagement have brought us to this point. Too many administrations have taxed, borrowed, spent and deferred until the citizens of this state could take no more.
Senator Mike Doherty, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following comments regarding the release of a Fairleigh Dickenson University/Public Mind poll quantifying the widespread public opposition to the $300 million tax break being offered to the Morgan Stanley Revel hotel project.