2011-10-20 / Front Page
GOP candidates stress tax relief, jobs creation for New Jersey
New District 12 candidates say jobs No. 1 issue for state
New Jersey faces tough challenges like joblessness and taxes that will take tough solutions to fix. And the Republican legislative candidates in the new 12th Legislative District say they are the right people to lead the charge.
“This election is all about pocketbook issues,” said Assemblyman Ron Dancer. “That’s why it is important to elect people that are willing to take the stands that are necessary, that have what I call political intestinal fortitude.”
Senate candidate Assemblyman Samuel Thompson and Assembly candidates Assemblyman Ron Dancer and Monmouth County Freeholder Robert Clifton are vying for control of the new 12th Legislative District, which includes Old Bridge.
With unemployment rates at over 9.6 percent, Thompson said the No. 1 priority for the state is job creation.
While Thompson said the state has taken steps to make New Jersey more business friendly under the leadership of Gov. Chris Christie, much more still needs to be done.
“We have to get the message out there that we are open for business, that we are going to welcome and do everything that we can to encourage them and help them get open,” Thompson said.
The Republicans said Christie has taken great strides to help encourage job creation and security in New Jersey and that they will work to continue those policies if elected.
The Red Tape Review Commission, headed by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, is working to review regulations on businesses in the state and is making progress in lifting “onerous regulations,” Dancer said.
“We are helping businesses now grow in the state of New Jersey,” he said. “We are not only doing business attraction but business retention as a result of the red tape removal.”
The Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant program is also a keystone of the Republicans’ program, Dancer said, providing assistance grants and tax credits to help companies preserve jobs, expand operations or relocate to New Jersey.
“We do have some bragging rights now,” Dancer said. “We are not the laughing stock of the nation. People are looking at the governor and the programs he’s implemented, and they want him for president of the United States.”
New Jersey’s Business Action Center, created by Christie, is also helping businesses in the Garden State, Dancer said, providing a “one-stop” center to help companies of all sizes do everything from start a business to help navigate the different regulatory processes.
Until Christie was put in office, Clifton said the private sector was looked at as the enemy and endured increased regulations and high taxes. To help create jobs for the unemployed, Clifton said this attitude needs to change and the state needs to become a partner of the private sector, which the governor is working to do.
“It’s the millionaires and business people that create the jobs,” Clifton said. “If companies don’t move here and investors with investment dollars don’t move here to start jobs, start businesses, then we are never going to have jobs.”
Though job creation is the state’s No. 1 concern, Dancer said tackling the issue of high taxes in the state remains a priority and the Republicans have a four-point plan to help reduce taxes.
First, Dancer said he is sponsoring legislation that would require a two-thirds majority from both houses of the Legislature for all future tax increases.
“The people of this state deserve that confidence from their legislators that it would take a supermajority of two-thirds to pass tax increases,” he said.
Second, Dancer said the state needs a Supreme Court appointed that will rethink the school funding formula and not work to legislate from the bench. Dancer said there needs to be a more equitable distribution of funds in the school funding formula that currently favors the state’s 31 special needs districts often referred to as the Abbott districts.
“We support Gov. Christie in making changes to the Supreme Court because there has been a supreme injustice to 574 rural school districts in the state of New Jersey, including every one of the 14 that we represent, from Old Bridge all the way over to Wrightstown,” Dancer said. “Every one of them are at a disadvantage in the school funding formula.”
Thompson said Christie has already appointed one justice and will have three more before his term is up.
“That will be critical to our resolving the school funding issue, that we get justices in there that recognize that you cannot resolve the problems of failing school districts by just continuing to increase the amount of money you pay in,” Thompson said. The Republicans also said the state needs to look toward shared services and consolidation to help reduce the tax burden on New Jerseyans. Dancer said he supports Democratic Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s legislation, S2794, that sets up feasibility studies to recommend specific consolidations, shared services proposal and mergers for municipalities and provide figures for taxpayer savings.
If voters of a municipality do not approve the shared service proposal or merger, that municipality’s state aid would be reduced by that estimated savings figure.
Clifton said that as Monmouth County freeholder, he has worked hard to seek out and implement shared service agreements, so that now a bevy of services, including everything from emergency dispatch services to road salt, is shared between municipalities and neighboring counties. In addition, he said that all levels of governments must look at the services they offer and see if they are something the private sector does more efficiently and cost effectively.
“[Governments] have got to go through their budgets line by line by line,” Clifton said
Finally, Dancer said the Legislature must work to approve the remaining bills of Christie’s “toolkit” that will lead to property tax relief and reduction through civil service reform and a sick leave payout cap.
While the governor’s policies have already helped, creating a net gain of 5,400 jobs in the state in his 19 months in office, Dancer said job creators need assurance that the policies will continue into the future. creators confidence and the going to have continuation of this policy of reducing taxes and reducing regulation,” Dancer said. “That’s why you are going to elect Senator Thompson, Assemblyman Dancer and Assemblyman Clifton.”
Contact Chris Zawistowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.