Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) and Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) held a State House press conference on December 14, 2015 to announce their opposition to a New Jersey gas tax increase.
Sen. Beck presented a plan to fund New Jersey’s roads and bridges without increasing gas taxes, and Sen. Doherty explained how his legislative effort to reduce our highest-in-the-nation highway costs should be part of the solution.
On behalf of New Jersey’s overburdened taxpayers, Senate Republicans Jennifer Beck (R-11) and Michael Doherty (R-23) held a State House press conference today and presented transportation and pension system alternatives to Democrats’ gas tax and income tax hike proposals.
“By tightening our belts during a long-term fiscal plan, we can finally give sorely needed relief, predictability and good news to overburdened New Jersey families, employers and prospective job creators,” Beck said. “After months of research with New Jersey’s nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services, it is clear that state government can implement a seven-year financial plan that annually funds a $1.6 billion Transportation Trust Fund program with no Democrat gas tax hike, and annually funds the state’s growing public pension system obligation without Democrat income or sales tax hikes.”
Senator Doherty addressed fundamental issues with how existing money taxpayers have paid the state for transportation programs. Doherty sponsors S-2811 to ultimately lower costs for drivers and taxpayers via the “State Transportation Cost Analysis Task Force.”
“It is repugnant for the state to demand more money from taxpayers for the Transportation Trust Fund, without first stopping all of the waste, abuse and lack of proper oversight that is clearly occurring with New Jersey road, bridge and other infrastructure projects,” Doherty said. “With alternatives to meet our transportation funding needs, including reducing our highest-in-the-nation highway costs, raising the gas tax should be the last option that the legislature considers. How can we justify asking more from drivers when it’s clear that the gas taxes they already pay aren’t spent wisely?”
Noting that some municipalities have resisted for years and sometimes decades efforts to account for increases in home prices that may affect their residents’ property tax obligations or reduce their share of state aid, Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) praised the New Jersey Division of Taxation’s announcement that it will conduct an investigation to determine whether to order revaluations in Jersey City, Dunellen and Elizabeth, followed by future investigations of additional municipalities.
“For years, I’ve worked to highlight the fact that some towns have massively gamed the system to shift their property tax burden to others and collect state aid they don’t deserve,” said Doherty. “Today’s announcement is recognition that they should no longer be given a free ride at everyone else’s expense.”
According to the Division of Taxation, it has determined that the municipalities targeted for investigation appear to be the most dramatically out of compliance with Constitutional and statutory provisions requiring fair and uniform property tax assessments.
Bill Authorizing Kids to Offer Snow Shoveling Services Heads to General Assembly
The New Jersey Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) ensuring that kids have the right to offer snow shoveling services before storms without municipal approval.
“It’s ridiculous to suggest that kids looking to earn a few bucks shoveling sidewalks and driveways might need expensive permits from their municipalities,” said Doherty. “This bill ensures that kids have the right to offer to shovel snow without fear of breaking the law.”
Legislation Blocks Local Ordinances that Restrict Ability of Kids to Offer Snow Shoveling Services
Legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) that blocks municipal ordinances from preventing the ability of kids to offer snow shoveling services within 24 hours of an expected snowstorm was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
“I agree with many who believe it is ridiculous that we need legislation to explicitly state that kids can legally offer to shovel sidewalks and driveways,” said Doherty. “It is a sign of how overbearing government regulation has become that kids risk running afoul of the law for offering to shovel snow.”
Says Analysis of Cost-Saving Opportunities Critical Given Talk of Major Gas Tax Increase
In response to concerns that New Jersey highways are the nation’s most expensive to build, operate and maintain, Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) has drafted legislation that will give policymakers the information they need to lower costs for drivers and taxpayers.
As Doherty expressed in a recent editorial, the new measure addresses the dual concerns of excessive state highway costs highlighted in a recent report by the Reason Foundation and calls by some legislators to raise the state’s gas tax to fund new transportation projects.
“Some may quibble over how much more New Jersey spends on our highways than other states, but nobody disputes that we do spend more than everyone else,” said Doherty. “With New Jersey drivers already shouldering such a heavy tax and toll burden, it’s imperative that we find out why the many millions we spend on our roads get us so little in return.”
There has been much discussion recently about a report on state highway systems by the Reason Foundation that found New Jersey’s roads to be the nation’s most expensive to build, operate and maintain.
According to that report, New Jersey’s state-administered highways cost taxpayers $2 million per mile, which the Reason Foundation claims to be 12 times the national average, three times the cost in the next highest state and four times the cost in New York.
Senators Jennifer Beck and Michael Doherty announced the introduction of legislation explicitly banning adult incest in New Jersey. The legislation is identical to a bill already introduced in the Assembly by Mary Pat Angelini.
Last month news outlets detailed reports that an 18-year-old woman was planning to marry her once-estranged biological father and move to New Jersey as it is one of the only states where there is no legal prohibition against adult incest.
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) has introduced legislation that blocks municipal ordinances from preventing the ability of kids to offer snow shoveling services within 24 hours of an expected snowstorm.
The legislation was drafted in response to recent reports of a pair of high school seniors who were stopped by Bound Brook police and told they could not go door to door without a permit to hand out flyers in an attempt to solicit snow shoveling business for a snowstorm the next morning.
“That teenagers looking to make a few bucks shoveling driveways can be at risk of breaking the law is a sign of how overbearing government has become,” said Doherty. “Instead of learning the value of entrepreneurship and hard work, today’s kids are being taught that the effort isn’t worth it.”
Nearly 7,100 People Signed Online Petition to Ban the Cams
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23), the sponsor of legislation (S-626) to ban the use of red light cameras in New Jersey, commented on the imminent conclusion of the state’s red light camera pilot program and warned that citizens must remain vigilant to prevent the program’s return.
“Over the five years of the red light camera pilot program, we have shattered the myth that cameras protect drivers or make inherently dangerous intersections safer,” said Doherty. “We have proven that the only thing cameras are consistently good at is robbing drivers through expensive and questionable tickets to support the wasteful spending of local officials.”