Corzine’s REAL Plan

Jon Corzine’s web site sports his REAL plan for property taxes. I have lamented previously that candidates running for office tend not to share white papers. Mr. Corzine is no different. The link, VIEW THE PLAN, links to a document whose filename is doc_propertytaxsummary.pdf and in it, one does not find a plan. Or, if this is what the hopeful governor considers a plan, we should all be concerned.

We learn that the “plan” can be summarized in four bullets:

  • Responsible
  • Effective
  • Accountable
  • Lasting

Hence, his REAL plan. The Responsible bullet tells us Corzine has a plan.

Corzine has a plan to grow state revenues from a growing economy, and make specific spending cuts. This is the only responsible way to make more state funds available for direct property tax relief without raising other taxes.

Hmmm . . . so, I clicked on the link to read the plan, only to find out that Corzine has a plan, but nowhere does he share the plan. Sigh . . .

In the Effective bullet, Corzine tells us he will provide rebates to those who need them and they will grow by 10% annually. As I have documented, rebates make no sense. Rebates indicate that government collects too much tax money. Since government cannot make a profit, it returns the money to those who paid it. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But it requires the state to have entire departments of people to return that money to us. That costs us money. The cost, slippage, is the measure of inefficiency in the system. Would it not be more efficient to not collect too much money to begin with? Since Mr. Corzine has business and management skills, he should be able to devise a system that does not take money from its citizens that government doesn’t need.

But perhaps Mr. Corzine is not the business genius he purports to be. This bullet claims:

rebates are guaranteed to grow 10% per year — or 40% over 4 years.

Huh?

This isn’t right. If the rebate is $100 this year (Year 0), then next year (Year 1) it would be $110. That is a 10% increase.

  • In Year 2, however, I would receive $121.
  • In Year 3, I would receive $133.10.
  • In Year 4, I would receive $146.41.

Isn’t that a 46.41% increase?

This is shoddy work. Is this the attention to detail Mr. Corzine will bring to Drumthwacket?

Why will the would-be governor continue collecting too many tax dollars in order to guarantee a 10% annual increase in the rebate instead of eliminating the excess thus relieving the burden of returning it to the tax payers? It is nonsensical.

For Accountable Corzine proposes an elected comptroller to hold school districts and local governments accountable. So, he is growing government. This person will need a staff. What about Inspector General Mary Jane Cooper? Doesn’t she and her staff investigate this already?

he will end the “corruption tax” at all levels of government, to make sure taxpayers are not paying for sweetheart contracts and corruption.

Oh good! That means the 2% of my Comcast bill that is collected by the company and then given to the local government (§ 76-5, Millville) will be blocked. I look forward to that. I sure would feel more secure, however, if I knew how the future governor was going to nullify this contract.

The Lasting bullet keeps alive the ill-fated Property Tax Constitutional Convention which everyone else seems to have abandoned.

So, no plan is presented by Mr. Corzine, but highlights are. The highlights are problematic. I am not inspired by the REAL Plan.

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