I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Christie to Seniors: Tough Luck, Granny

Governor Christie went on the radio again last night. The first caller was a woman who asserts that we should be looking at moving school funding away from property taxes because it can tax seniors out of their homes, like her 90-year-old neighbor. 

The governor responds first by saying he hopes the neighbor is signed up for the Senior Freeze program to freeze her property taxes. If not, the caller should go over and get her enrolled right away.

Under the terms of the Budget, only those applicants who received a reimbursement for tax year 2008, and whose income for 2009 does not exceed the 2008 income limit of $70,000, are eligible to receive a reimbursement for 2009 provided they met all the other program requirements.
Tough luck, granny - you snooze, you lose. Honestly, if you seniors can't get off your duffs and take advantage of these obscure tax laws, don't expect the governor to do it for you.

As to the caller's main point about shifting school funding away from property taxes: Christie says probably not, because we can't raise income taxes as they are already so high (though not as high as they were before he slashed the millionaire's tax). Aside from this incredibly suspect assertion, he conveniently forgets that there are other taxes in this state, including our very low gas taxes. Given that we are 31st in total state and local taxes, one would think he might consider looking at other revenue to offset a drastic reduction in property taxes like other states have done.

Of course that would mean making taxes less regressive, which we clearly can't have, as pain must be inflicted on the middle and working classes at all costs to ensure the continuing vilification of public workers...

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