NEW JERSEY (OCN) — This week over half a million senior citizens, people with disabilities, and tenants will look in their mailbox, but they won’t find the property tax rebates that in past years have helped them pay the bills.
That’s because last month (July 2010) legislators passed a brutal budget that gives massive tax breaks to the rich, but cuts funding to programs on which working families rely. Starting this week, the world will will see the impact of a budget that provided for New Jersey’s wealthiest residents and ignored everyone else.
If Trenton had just kept taxes the same for people making over US$400,000 per year, New Jersey could have preserved property tax rebates or maintained funding for affordable health care, after school programs, and job training. Instead, the rich will be getting over a billion dollars in tax cuts while working families see services reduced, school funds diminished, tuition and transit fares rise, and property taxes go up.
The headlines are already talking about how next year’s budget could be as bad or worse than the last one, and Gov. Christie is already saying he still won’t ask the wealthy to pay their fair share. Legislators in Trenton read the opinion pages of local papers to determine how their constituents feel about an issue. They need to be reading about how outraged New Jersey’s working families feel about this budget; not just in May or June but throughout the year, or else legislators will keep backing down to this Governor and his wealthy buddies.
New Jersey deserves a better budget than the one legislators just passed, but they will never get it unless they fight for it.