During the Governor’s recent State of the State address, he touched upon an issue that has been at the heart of our delegation’s continuing efforts to reduce the state’s tax burden: reducing the size of the state bureaucracy.
In 2005, years before the Great Recession hit, the 9th District delegation introduced legislation that would institute a plan in which the number of state employees would be reduced through attrition and efficiencies. At the time, this plan was responding to a dramatic explosion in the size of the executive branch’s workforce – nearly 14,000 employees were added to the payrolls in a span of just four years.
Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Galloway & Port Republic Taxpayers Are Our Primary Consideration on Atlantic City Bill Package
With alarming frequency, taxpayers are being forced to pay dearly for the irresponsible acts others, from massively wealthy banks that are too big to poorly managed municipalities. Bailout has become the new term for already overburdened taxpayers to dread, and rightfully so.
Before the State Legislature is a package of bills designed to aid Atlantic City following the closures of several casinos and subsequent layoffs of thousands of employees.
In short, the bills cover a range of issues including but not limited to the taxation of casinos, school aid, health and retirement insurance for casino employees, the elimination of the Atlantic City Alliance and the re-allocation of the casino investment alternative tax.
In response to the proposed construction of the Port Ambrose deepwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal off of New Jersey’s coastline, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove have called upon federal regulative authorities to reject the proposal in light of public safety as well as environmental and economic concerns that have been consistently raised.
For entry into the official public record of testimony, the 9th District legislators recently wrote the following letter to ranking officials of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission:
Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove have introduced legislation (S-2505 and A-3794) that would repeal the Transfer Inheritance Tax. Currently, New Jersey imposes a Transfer Inheritance Tax on beneficiaries for the receipt of assets from a New Jersey resident decedent and certain New Jersey assets of nonresident decedents, as determined by the value of the assets transferred and the beneficiary’s relationship to the decedent.
Correspondingly, the 9th District delegation has also cosponsored companion legislation (S-353 and A-329) that would phase out New Jersey’s estate tax over a five-year period. The legislation states its purpose is to simplify New Jersey’s taxation of decedent estates, while allowing for an orderly adjustment to the associated revenue loss through the bill’s five-year phase out.
Connors, Rumpf & Gove Request Status Update on Soil Restoration Standards Required Under Barnegat Bay Initiative
As part of their continuing efforts to protect the Barnegat Bay, the 9th District legislative delegation has requested of the State Secretary of Agriculture a status update on the development of new soil restoration standards that are required under a state law enacted in 2010. Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove sponsored the soil restoration law, along with the fertilizer restriction law, which stands as the strictest in the nation.
The pressing need for legislative action on soil restoration and fertilizer restriction laws were conceptualized during the first joint legislative environmental meeting on the Barnegat Bay in 2009 that was held in Ocean County at the request of the 9th District delegation which was working in a unified effort with the Barnegat Bay Partnership. In all, 19 of the 9th Legislative District’s 24 constituent municipalities are located within the Watershed.
Connors-Rumpf-Gove Measure Would Protect Veteran Property Tax Exemption Status For Homes Destroyed by Natural Disasters
Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove will introduce legislation that will continue the tax exempt status of property owned by a 100 percent disabled veteran whose home has been destroyed by flood, storm event, natural cause, or other act of God.
Under current law, 100 percent disabled veterans of this State may claim a full local property tax exemption on their dwelling homes and the ground upon which the respective dwellings are located. In the event of a natural disaster, such as a storm or flood that destroys the dwelling, the property becomes taxable because it is no longer usable as the owner’s residence.
The State General Assembly has passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would strengthen State statutes for heroin offenses.
Penalties would be increased under the 9th District legislators’ initiative (A-783/A-2831), for offenses involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing or possessing or having under one’s control with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense heroin by lowering the threshold quantities for crimes of the first, second, and third degree.
With overwhelming bipartisan support, the State Senate passed legislation introduced by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would allow municipalities to use a portion of certain affordable housing development fees collected for affordability assistance programs for veterans.
Specifically, the 9th District delegation’s legislation (S-915) would provide that up to 30 percent of the development fee amounts permitted to be spent on affordability assistance programs may be directed to a municipal program for first-time home buying veterans to provide grants for down payment assistance. The legislation is permissive, providing municipalities the option of establishing a program.
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would strengthen state statutes for heroin offenses was released by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Under the delegation’s legislation (A-783/A-2831), penalties would be increased for offenses involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing or possessing or having under one’s control with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense heroin by lowering the threshold quantities for crimes of the first, second, and third degree. Under the legislation the threshold for a first-degree offense would be lowered from five ounces to 2.5 ounces or more of heroin. For a second-degree offense the threshold quantity would be reduced to 0.17 ounces or more but less than 2.5 ounces of heroin. A third-degree offense would require a threshold quantity of less than 0.17 ounces of heroin.
Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Stockton’s National Rankings Even Better, Strengthening Its Role as Regional Leader
Senator Chris Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove of the 9th Legislative District spoke of the impressive rankings of Stockton College in a well-respected national survey:
“For years, our delegation has supported and emphasized the critically important role Stockton College plays in the area, beyond serving as an institution of higher education but also a driving economic force that reaches into several South Jersey counties. Stockton has taken a more prominent role in steadily filling a position once held by the gaming industry that isn’t the dominating economic force it once was due to the closing of several casinos in Atlantic City.
“Not long ago, our delegation issued a statement boasting about Stockton’s national rankings. As Stockton and Galloway Township are in our Legislative District, we take great pride in the College’s achievements in continuing to provide an outstanding education to its students. More recently, we were elated to learn that Stockton’s ranking had improved from our previous statement.