On the fast track to financial ruin with McGreevey
At news conferences in a number of sites around the state, environmentalists and local officials protested that applications for permits in growth areas to allow developments that involved sewage discharge, toxic waste management and wetlands use could never be properly reviewed in 45 days.
Critics have also raised legal objections. Last week Jane Kenny, the regional administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, warned the governor’s chief counsel that the changes could not proceed without federal approval.
The environmentalists are also upset about the deal reached with developers (after the Highlands bill passed) over Petty’s Island in Camden County
Pennsauken wants to make the island the centerpiece of a $1 billion redevelopment project that includes a hotel and conference center, 18-hole golf course and three residential neighborhoods on the island. Thousands of other residential units would be built along Pennsauken’s waterfront.
Powerful South Jersey politicians support the project and have won the support of Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Susan Bass Levin
McGreevy had some backing over the budget, at least for now. A Superior Court judge rejected Republican contentions that his new $28 billion budget is unconstitutional because it relies on $1.9 billion of borrowed money. As usual, the decision’s now being appealed. Whether it stands or not, the fact remains that state expenses now are increasing at a rate of 16% a year.
NJ residents are getting scalped, but don’t count on getting hair implants or any other “little work” done since now even plastic surgery’s going to be taxed. As Birdwoman mentioned,
Finally, did you see some of the stuff they buried in the new budget? 6% tax on all “cosmetic medical procedures” – like mole removal, braces, breast augmentation (what if you’ve had breast cancer?)
Richard D’Amico, MD, of the New Jersey ASPS, also criticized a “selective and discriminatory tax on working, middle-class women who represent almost 90 percent of all plastic surgery procedures.”
These bills were introduced, passed through committees, and approved by the legislature and governor in a matter of days, he noted. “The public should be troubled by the ‘back-door politics’ undertaken to get these bills passed,” said Dr. D’Amico. ”
They were pushed through at the eleventh hour. There was no chance to interface or interact with the system. There was no public debate. The patients of New Jersey have been shortchanged.”
McGreevy’s also busy trying to keep pharmaceutical companies from fleeing NJ. Rather than addressing the excessive state spending and other long-term problems, the emphasis is on tax-payer-financed gifts to business that drain the public treasury. Which in turn makes taxes go up. In an article by Susan Warner in yesterday’s NYT As Businesses Wander, New Jersey Fights Back (article not on line), in the new state budget “new incentives were added to keep NJ businesses from straying”. Why are they straying?
Corporate tax rates remain among the highest in the natnion, and the newly enacted “millionaire’s tax” — which despite its name applies to all personal income over $500,000 a year — could alienate corporate leaders
It could, and it does. As of itself, maybe. Added to all other state and local taxes, definitely yes.