Entries in Hoboken (2)


The Democrats' moocher towns strike again

Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) claims that some places "mooch" off other places when they get back from government more than they pay in.  According to Gottheimer, the country's top "moocher" is Mississippi, the state with the highest percentage of African-American residents -- 37 percent and growing -- because the state gets more back than they pay in. 

Is Gottheimer a racist?  Last Friday, Gottheimer was joined at a press conference by Democrats Phil Murphy and Tim Eustace to discuss ways to redress this "moocher" situation.  Are they coddling Gottheimer's racism?  If so, has anyone told the incoming First Lady?  New Jersey's answer to Madame Mao will not be amused.

If there are "moocher states" as Democrat Gottheimer claims, can we apply Gottheimer's measurement to other cases -- such as the relationship between municipalities or school districts within a state?  If, as the Democrat Congressman claims, there are places that "mooch" off the federal government, does it not also follow that there are places that "mooch" off state government?

We've already learned that towns like Sparta get back just 15 cents on every dollar they pay in state income tax to Trenton.  That's right, in what Congressman Gottheimer would call a clear case of mooching, Asbury Park paid in just a sixth -- in income taxes per person -- of what Sparta did, but got back 17 times more!

            Sparta Twp  $5,611,989 (received) / $36,267,481 (paid) = $0.15

            Asbury Park $57,632,816 (received) / $3,835,809 (paid) = $15.02 

We've also learned how poor families in suburban and rural New Jersey are subsidizing rich people in chic urban hotspots.  Their cut of the revenue from the state income tax allows these hotspots to keep their property taxes comparatively low.  For example, despite being clearly being economically better-off, Hoboken gets its property taxes underwritten by the income tax revenue paid by rural Warren County:

 Warren County has double the population of Hoboken City (107,000 to 52,000) but the population of Hoboken has been growing while Warren is shrinking (5% vs. -1%).  And while Hoboken has just 800 veterans, Warren County has over 7,000.  The per capita income of Hoboken City is over $70,000.  This compares with Warren County, at $33,000.  The median value of an owner-occupied home is $550,700 in Hoboken but only $271,100 in Warren County.  The U.S. Census reported that 5.5% of the people in Hoboken are without health insurance vs. 12.5% of those in Warren County.  73.5% of those 25 or older in Hoboken have graduated from college.  In Warren County that figure is 29.6%.

Enter the State Highlands Act... Passed by a Democrat-controlled Legislature and signed into law by Democrat Governor Jim McGreevey, the Highlands Act undertakes the worthy cause of preserving the aquifer that supplies the drinking water for a large urban population in Northern New Jersey.  Unfortunately, it does so at the expense of rural and suburban property owners -- who saw their land rights seized and the use of their land forcibly regulated -- without compensation. 

The Highlands Region encompasses nearly 859,267 acres across seven counties -- including Sussex and Warren Counties.  In the phrase coined by Democrat Gottheimer -- upscale urban areas are "mooching" off economically disadvantaged rural areas and the state is refusing to provide compensation to those being "mooched" upon.

On Monday, in one of the last legislative acts of the year, Congressman Gottheimer's fellow Democrats made it a point to further piss on the hopes and property rights of the economically disadvantaged communities under the boot of the Highlands Act, by undoing a Christie administration rule that allowed a small measure of development in those areas affected.  With incoming Governor Phil Murphy urging them on from the sidelines, the Democrat-controlled Legislature rescinded the Christie rule and, in so doing, made the property in question next to worthless. 

As Josh Gottheimer would say, the Democrats once again gave more to the "moochers" and took away more from those being "mooched" upon.

Republicans like Senator Steve Oroho and Assemblyman Parker Space gave it their best, but with Phil Murphy's full support for the "moochers" and a Democrat-controlled Legislature, the resolution overturning the Christie rule barely passed the state Senate with the minimum 21 votes needed and the Assembly with 42 votes.  One of those votes to help the "moochers" at the expense of those "mooched" upon was cast by Assemblyman Tim Eustace -- who was at last Friday's press conference with Phil Murphy and Josh Gottheimer -- to complain about the "moochers"!  How is that for hypocrisy!

Why do Trenton Democrats continue to support allowing rich people in towns like Hoboken to "mooch" off poor families in places like Warren County?  Somebody needs to ask Democrats like Phil Murphy and Tim Eustace next time they hold a press conference with Josh Gottheimer to complain about "moocher states."


Our favorite activist is in the dog house today


As you are all aware, we're big fans of citizen activist Harvey Roseff here at Watchdog.  But the Watchdog tries to be fair and we will call anyone out when we see a need to do so.


Yesterday, Hoboken was the scene of a horrific mass transit accident in which a train derailed, causing the roof of the station to collapse.  100 people were injured and at least one has died. 


This tragedy comes at a time when the Transportation Trust Fund (which funds 20 percent of New Jersey's mass transportation system) is bankrupt and without money.  It also comes after civil engineering experts have issued warnings about the state of the mass transit system.


Maybe Harvey missed the news about the train crash, but today we read a wild-eyed Mr. Roseff attacking Hoboken for being on the receiving end of money to maintain the very station in which the tragedy occurred.  Let's be clear, not everyone who uses the Hoboken train station is a resident of Hoboken.  Most of those injured yesterday were not residents of Hoboken.  Hoboken is a transit point used by commuters from across Northwest New Jersey. 


All of these commuters -- thousands upon thousands of them -- have automobiles.  If you deplete the mass transit system they will not quit their jobs and stay home.  No, they will take to the roads and drive to work.  And what would that do to the traffic situation?  Would it make it better... or worse?


On top of this rather insensitive attack on Hoboken because it is a transit point in a mass transportation system many of us use and we all benefit from (if only by having less road traffic gridlock), Harvey followed up with a piece of gross misunderstanding.  Yes, Hoboken is an Abbott District.  Yes, it should not be.  It has grown rich since the State Supreme Court made its ridiculous Abbott ruling more than three decades ago.


But to blame Senator Steve Oroho and the other legislators in Sussex County for Hoboken getting Abbott funding is an out-and-out lie.   We are sorry to have to tell you that, Harvey, but it is.  Go look at the Senator's record and the records of Assemblyman Parker Space, Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, and Assemblyman Gary Chiusano.  You will find vote after vote against Abbott spending and legislation to specifically strip Abbott status away from cities like Hoboken.   Even newby Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus is on such a bill. 


Mr. Roseff, on this issue, you don't know what you are talking about.