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The Jaffe Briefing - January 8, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
 
NORTH JERSEY - There's lots of brain power at work to sidestep the new federal tax law that limits property tax deductions. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is talking about lawsuits and eliminating the state income tax, replacing it with a payroll tax. In California, they want to set up a charity, allowing taxpayers to make "donations," rather than pay state taxes. And, in North Jersey, never to be outdone, three towns - Paramus, Park Ridge and Fair Lawn - are now allowing residents to donate the same sum they would have been charged in property taxes to pay for municipal services. Their local congressman is even in on the scheme, with  Rep. Josh Gottheimer "declaring that New Jersey won't shy from a fight. We won't be America's piggy bank." Pretty ingenious here. But curious if, and how long, the IRS would let this fly.

Posted in Morning Briefing

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The Jaffe Briefing - January 5, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
 
STATEWIDE - There's a lot that will be said about Gov. Brendan T. Byrne this morning, as the state learns that one of its beloved politicians has died at age 93. There was no one who could master a one-liner better than the former governor, and everyone has a story. We recall, quite fuzzily, when Byrne attended an event in Woodbridge in the 1990s to mark the construction of a new municipal complex, replacing a small town hall named in honor of veterans. "I had a building named after me once, too," he quipped, dead-panned, referring to the former Brendan Byrne arena in the Meadowlands.

Posted in Morning Briefing

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The Jaffe Briefing - January 4, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
 
TRENTON - The governor-elect has been talking plenty about his new commissioners, but is mum on the big, pressing issue of the moment. Will Phil Murphy reinstate a cap on the raises that arbitrators can award police officers and firefighters? The cap expired Monday, and Murphy is delaying a decision until he sees the final report of the Police and Fire Interest Arbitration Task Force. The issue: That report likely isn't coming. And earlier versions of the unfinished report say the cap contributed to $531 million in property tax savings. The unwinnable conundrum for a new, untested governor: Do you side with the labor unions or the taxpayers?

Posted in Morning Briefing

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The Jaffe Briefing - January 3, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
 
TRENTON - If you are thumbing through the calendar, be quick to note that there are just 13 days left in the Christie Administration. Yet the big guy isn't ready to fade away, as his anti-opioid commercials fill our airwaves, morning, noon and night. There's some other unfinished business, as Christie tries to reshape his legacy after vanishing from office for a couple of years or so. He still wants to get a couple of state office buildings constructed (now in litigation) and is now pushing for a marina to be built in Liberty State Park in Jersey City (also in litigation). Perhaps this is another great opportunity for our lame-duck governor to disappear.

Posted in Morning Briefing

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