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Nightmare on State Street

Since 2000 my pay has increased 20%.

Since 2000 my property tax has increased over 80%.

I thought property taxes were too high in 2000. Now they’re nearly double! How can this be?

I remember 2000. The town was here in 2000.  They picked up the garbage. They plowed the streets. We had police. We had a school. We had every service then that we enjoy now. Why have our property taxes nearly doubled? Answer: State interference in our affairs.

There are things we can do locally to reduce taxes. We can moderate the current administration’s ambitious redevelopment plans. Then we wouldn’t need a Special Improvement District that forces commercial property owners to pay “special” taxes. We can scale back plans to improve the marina. Even with the state “aid” (aren’t we all state taxpayers too?), the marina improvements will cost us money.  We can avoid giveaways like the recent ordinance to waive inspection fees for the installation of solar panels. Incidentally, I noticed that although Democrats Ken Pringle, Claire Deicke, Matt Doherty and Brian Magovern and “Republican” Richard Wright all voted in favor of you and I further subsidizing the solar industry, none of them have announced any plans to install solar panels on their own houses. They don’t even drive fuel efficient cars (like I do).

I’m sure I could find other things we’re doing that we shouldn’t be doing, but these are small potatoes compared to the costs the state imposes on us. We should still cut the size of local government, and the things that we should be doing we should try to do at the lowest possible cost, but the fact is that it is the monster in Trenton that is the reason why New Jersey has the highest property taxes in America  (the #2 state, New Hampshire, has no state income or sales tax. Their property taxes basically run the whole state).

The monster in Trenton is no ordinary monster. This is Frankenstein, King Kong, Godzilla, the Blob, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Freddie Krueger all rolled up into one.

Think I exaggerate?

“Conservative” Governor Christie has no plans to eliminate any of this.

Not content to totally hose us at the state level, this greatest of all monsters has decided to run our towns for us as well. They have done everything they can to assist the unions in gaining a complete stranglehold over the local taxpayers. They have burdened the towns with all sorts of expensive mandates. Look at this post from last March:


 Mandated Into Oblivion

I obtained a copy of a 2008 letter written from the township manager of a North Jersey town to a State Assembly committee chairman and cced to a number of NJ public officials. It has an attachment listing state mandates that this particular town of 6100 is forced to implement. It is pointed out in the letter that this list is by no means exclusive. More detail on any particular mandate is available from me for the asking.

Police Domestic Violence Training – 84 man hours

Police CPR/AED First Responder – 84 man hours

Police Gas Mask Fit Testing – 21 man hours

Police Hazmat/Blood borne Pathogens course – 84 man hours

Police ICS 100, 200, 800 Certification – 378 man hours

Police Counter Terrorism Certification – 378 man hours

Police Annual Firearms Qualification – 252 man hours

Police Automatic Weapons/Carbines Training – 336 man hours

Police Active Shooter Class – 88 man hours

Police Firearms Instructor – 12 man hours

Police Active Shooter Instructors – 48 man hours

Dispatcher CPR/AED Training – 25 man hours

Dispatcher EMD Training – 32 man hours

Dispatcher Hazmat/Blood borne Pathogens Course – 25 man hours

Dispatcher EMD/911 Instructor – 48 man hours

Dispatcher Gas Mask Fit Testing – 5 man hours

Dispatcher ICS 100, 200, 800 Certification – 60 man hours

Alcotest equipment and training

Recording System for interviews and arrests

Mandatory Police Related Equipment

Police and Firemen’s Retirement System Mandates

Police Contract Arbitration

Megan’s Law

Playground Safety Enhancements

Automated External Defibrillators & Training

Planning Board Members Training

Zoning Board Members Training

Master Plan and Master Plan Reexamination Reports

Municipal Engineer Requirements

Municipal Land Use Attorney Requirements

Stan Planning Commission – Plan Endorsement

Highlands Council Plan Conformance


NJDEP Regulations

NJDEP Storm water Management Programs

NJDEP Water/Sewer testing

Wastewater & Water Quality Management Plans

Stormwater Management Plans

Certified Public Works Coordinator

Certified Recycling Coordinator and Program

Truck & Equipment Washing Facilities

Water Operations Course and Certification

Misc Public Works Training Requirements

Deer Carcass Removal from highways

Court Personnel Training

Court Administrator Training

Mandatory use of State Forms and Tickets

Bullet Proof Glass for Court Rooms

Court Security Plan

Public Employee Retirement Systems Appropriations Mandates

Mandatory Heath Care Insurance Contributions

Mandatory Negotiations Regarding Public Union Groups

Open Public Records Act

Elections Training and Machines

Certified Purchasing Agent

Green Products Purchasing Course

Prevailing Wage Laws for all Publicly Funded Projects

Prevailing Wage Laws for Public Utility Construction

Mandatory Property Revaluation

Public Employee Occupational Safety & Health Act

Office of the State Controller Statutory Reporting Requirements

Public Employee Retirement System/Teachers Pension and Annuity Fund Contributions

Full Day Preschool

Full Day Kindergarten

Special Education Requirements

School Psychiatric Evaluations

School Board Election Recall Officials Training

NJDOE Student Testing Requirements

(School) Public Employee Occupational Safety and Health Act (PEOSH) Right to Know

PEOSH Asbestos Inspection

PEOSH Smoke Stack Permits

PEOSH Water Testing

PEOSH Boiler License

PEOSH Florescent Bulb Recycling

PEOSH Long Range Facilities Plan

PEOSH Fire Retardant Protection


I, for one, do not accept our local officials having discretion over only about 25% of our budget. If I am elected I plan to go to Trenton and annoy them until they agree to back off. I know it’s an uphill battle. Personally, I would rather just move to a normal state. Family obligations, however, are keeping me here for the time being. Certainly nothing any politician here is doing makes me want to live here.

The only way we can get back to reasonable property taxes is to get Trenton and their union buddies out of Belmar. We are perfectly capable of running our own affairs. All our efforts should go towards getting Trenton to allow us to. We have no choice. We either fight the Trenton-union monster or we will be consumed by it.

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