Posted on

Internal Revenue Service Says New Jersey’s SALT “Charitable Tax Dodge ” a No Go

IRS_logo

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

River Vale NJ,Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi , “Several months ago I raised concerns that the IRS would disallow NJ’s proposed charitable contribution of property taxes workaround. I implored my fellow legislators to stop pushing gimmicks and instead focus on much needed reforms to how we fund schools, reforms to our pension and health benefit programs, reestablishing caps on property taxes and working to change how we fund things in this State while reducing our expenses. ”

Continue reading Internal Revenue Service Says New Jersey’s SALT “Charitable Tax Dodge ” a No Go

Posted on

Statement from John McCann on Double Dipper and back Stabber Sheriff Mike Saudino Endorsing Josh Gottheimer

June 18, 2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Hackensack NJ, in a statement on his friend Sheriff Mike Saudino endorsing Josh Gottheimer , ” Unfortunately, he is doing what he has to do to survive, placing partisan politics above friendship. Eight other New Jersey sheriffs have endorsed me and have recognized these four points.
– I was directly responsible for saving over $1 million in healthcare savings in the jail. In contract Josh Gottheimer wants to spend taxpayer money.
– It was my initiative, and upon my recommendation that the Sheriff’s department adopted the policy to use body cameras as the first in the state.
– Myself and members of the team spent thousands of hours merging the Sheriff and County police departments. A policy that Josh Gottheimer opposed in January of this year.
– I modernized the medical leave policy, saving tens of thousands of dollars of overtime hours.
By endorsing a democrat in this national election, Saudino wants to put the gavel back in the hands of Nancy Pelosi and liberal democrats. “

Posted on

Gottheimer Bill Pushes Seat Belts on School Buses

May 31,2018

Reader called it after saying the The fake NJ “work around” law permitting the deduction of taxes in excess of $10,000 as a charitable contribution ,is a political statement, nothing else. Hope to get Little Josh elected again.

Next stop seat belts on school buses INSTEAD of evaluating logic of employing 77 year old to drive children on a highway.That kind of talk could alienate the over 65 crowd.

FAIR LAWN, N.J. — Today, Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) announced the bipartisan Secure Every Child Under the Right Equipment Standards (SECURES) Act of 2018 at the Fair Lawn Board of Education Transportation Depot. The legislation, co-led by Republican John Faso (NY-19) with Senate companion legislation introduced by Senator Bob Menendez, would require that all school buses have three-point lap-and-shoulder seat belts and encourage innovative measures to ensure that students are actually wearing their seat belts while on school buses.
Building on the SECURES ACT, Congressman Gottheimer is writing to state and federal transportation officials at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, asking them to study and take immediate action to ensure that all bus drivers are qualified to drive our children.

“My kids could have been on that bus – and I can’t imagine what those families are going through. As a parent and as a Congressman, I’m announcing the SECURES Act to help ensure that every child in America is as safe as possible when they’re on the road,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5).

“We need to do everything we can to make sure children are safe, and parents have peace of mind, when they’re on a school bus,” said Sen. Menendez. “The recent tragedy only underscores why it’s important to review and upgrade safety standards over time. There was a time not too long ago when seat belts weren’t even required in cars, let alone school buses—but we owe it to our constituents to do everything in our power to improve the safety of our roadways. It’s time to make our school buses safer so no family has to ever endure the heartbreak being felt in Paramus.”Gottheimer’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

Thank you for joining me today as we come together in the wake of this month’s tragedy to discuss ways to protect our students, our families, and our community. I’m here today as a Congressman and as a parent of two public school children.

These leaders — and those from across northern New Jersey — are working tirelessly to do everything we can to help the Paramus community – and our broader community.

A few hours after the heart-breaking accident, one parent called me and asked if the bus had seat belts and if the children were wearing them. I immediately checked with the school. I was told that indeed the children were buckled up, as required by New Jersey law. In fact, New Jersey is only one of eight states in the country where large school buses must have seat belts – though not three-point belts – and where children must wear them. The law passed in 1992.

I couldn’t believe that – only eight states require any type of seat belts. Every day, nearly 600,000 school buses carry more than 25 million students to and from school, activities, and class trips. Our school buses carry our children more than 5.7 billion miles every single year. And yet we allow millions of kids to ride on school buses without belts?

Last year, the GAO found that, from 2000 to 2014, there were an average of 115 fatal crashes involving school buses each year. On average, six passengers die each year in school bus crashes. There were 301 children killed in school bus crashes between 2006 and 2015.

We know that seat belts save lives and we know that three-point belts are far more effective than lap belts. The Department of Transportation found that between 1960 and 2012, seat belts saved more than 320,000 lives — more than any other vehicle technology, even airbags. And since three-point seat belts became the global standard in the 1960s, more than a million lives have been saved globally. IMMI, one of the leading providers of seatbelts in school buses, says its research shows that, in general, lap-shoulder seatbelts can reduce injury and death by 50 percent.

How is it possible that forty-two states allow children as young as kindergarteners to board buses every morning, across our country, with nothing keeping them in their seats – if, God forbid, there is an accident? It’s unconscionable. We must do more to keep our kids safe in the event of the unthinkable.

I also couldn’t believe that, in this day and age, when car safety has come so far, that we haven’t implemented three-point seat belts or other safety and technology measures for our children in buses. New Jersey has long been a leader, but is there more we could be doing here?

As a parent of a six-year-old boy and eight-year-old girl, and as your Congressman, after this horrific bus accident, I wanted to know if more could be done to ensure that all of our children, regardless of where they live, are as safe as they could be on our school buses?

So, we went to work. Our research has shown us that, as a state and as a country, there are more arrows in our quiver that we are currently putting into action.

The evidence couldn’t be clearer – seat belts in school buses save lives. In the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) report on a fatal 2016 rollover bus crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee that killed six young children, the NTSB found that the lack of three-point belts contributed to the severity of the crash. In a 2014 bus crash in Anaheim, California, nine students and the driver were injured, and thankfully no one died. This was the first crash in the nation involving a school bus that was equipped with three-point belts in all seating positions, as required by California law. The NTSB looked at what might have happened if the two most seriously injured students were wearing only lap belts, and found that the outcome would have been much worse.

Building on this evidence, I am here today to announce a new tool to help safeguard our children — the Secure Every Child Under the Right Equipment Standards (SECURES) Act. This bipartisan bill, the SECURES Act of 2018, has three central components.

First, the SECURES Act requires seat belts on all school buses.

Current federal law requires seat belts on small school buses—those less than 10,000 pounds—but not the larger school buses, like the ones used to take students on longer field trips. That decision is left to the individual states, and, as I noted earlier, only eight states require them. The SECURES Act would direct the Department of Transportation (DOT) to update the nationwide standard, so all students across the country share this basic level of protection that’s on all of our cars.

Second, the SECURES Act would make three-point lap-and-shoulder seat belts the national standard.

Just last week, on May 22nd, in a special investigation report on school bus crashes in Maryland and Tennessee, the NTSB, for the first time, formally recommended that all new school buses be equipped with lap-and-shoulder belts.

According to the NTSB, “Properly worn lap-and-shoulder belts provide the highest level of protection for school bus passengers in all crash scenarios, including frontal, side, and rear impacts—and rollovers.” Research shows that while school bus designs are generally effective in protecting occupants in frontal- and rear-impact crashes, they are less effective in protecting from side-impact or rollover crashes.

Right now, New Jersey only requires lap belts on our school buses, instead of three-point lap-and-shoulder belts. I’m hopeful that we take steps here at the state level to remedy that.

NTSB specifically recommended that New Jersey and three other states that currently only require lap belts upgrade their requirements to lap-and-shoulder belts. The SECURES Act would require the DOT to include NTSB’s recommendations in its Federal rulemaking process, so that children in every U.S. state are as safe as humanly possible when riding a school bus.

Third, the SECURES Act will encourage innovative measures to ensure that students are actually wearing their seat belts while on school buses.

Three-point seat belts are effective in protecting kids during a crash only if they are being worn properly. That’s why my bill also encourages the DOT to consider any innovative approaches to seat belt detection, seat belt reminder systems, and seat belt violation alert systems that could be incorporated into school bus designs. It works to harness the power of technology and innovation—which for so long has remained untapped when it comes to school bus safety—to secure our kids. In my own car, if the passenger hasn’t buckled up, it alerts me. Why can’t we have alerts on a bus when a child isn’t wearing a seatbelt?

In this day and age, my credit card company alerts me within seconds if there’s a suspicious charge on my account. Ours cars have lane-changing alerts and even airbags on our seatbelts. Yet, in this age when we have an app for everything, when I look at the school buses transporting my kids, they look no different than the ones I rode when I was their age. That’s unacceptable.

Finally, building on the SECURES ACT, I am writing to state and federal transportation officials at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, asking them to study and take immediate action to ensure that all bus drivers are qualified to drive our children.
 These agencies are in charge of setting the standards for our school bus drivers. The nation deserves to know the appropriate safety background and testing requirements for all school bus drivers, because every horrific school bus incident forces the question: Was the bus driver qualified to drive our children? Did they pass every background and skills test — and what’s in those tests? Were there any red flags? Is a driver’s record flagged in real time to a school district for a serious violation?

Several states, although not ours, rightly require ongoing training and testing for school bus drivers. For example, in Pennsylvania, every four years a driver must complete a minimum of ten hours of refresher training, including at least seven hours of classroom time and three hours of in-bus training. They must also pass road and knowledge tests. Connecticut has similar laws. I know that our state officials here today – including Senator Lagana, Assemblyman Tully and Asseblywoman Swain – are already at work to address these issues.

When it’s law, the SECURES Act will update federal standards for school buses to help ensure that every child in America is as safe as possible when they’re on the road. I’m proud that this bill is bipartisan, co-sponsored by New York Republican John Faso, and Senator Menendez is leading the effort in the Senate. I think we’d all agree — there is nothing partisan about our children’s safety.

Of course, today’s action is only the first step. I plan to work closely with experts in and out of government in the weeks and months ahead to study other measures we can take to keep our kids safe on their way to school.

On May 17th, a day when students from East Brook Middle School in Paramus should have been enjoying a class trip, they instead experienced every parent’s worst nightmare. The accident took the lives of ten-year-old fifth grader Miranda Vargas and beloved teacher Jennifer Williamson-Kennedy, and injured forty-three others. My kids could have been on that bus too – and I can’t imagine what those families are going through. That day has left an indelible stain of sorrow and reminded us that, as it’s said in Scripture, we see through a glass darkly.

Like everyone here, I have been inspired by all that I learned about Miranda and Jennifer, and moved by how the community has come together.

It is tragedies like these that remind us how resilient we can be here in New Jersey and how strong we must remain in the continued face of senseless tragedy.

As the sun shines down on us, we honor the lives of these two fallen angels, and recommit ourselves to doing everything we can to make sure our kids are as safe as they can be. We live in the greatest country in the world, and, together, we will ensure that our best days will always be ahead of us.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

Posted on

Readers not Happy with Political Grandstanding over Pastor Thomas Johnson passing

Mt Bethel Baptist Church

Sadly the political opportunists are posturing to be quoted in the newspaper and photographed at the wake and funeral. He was such a great man and will now be taken advantage of in death by those who cannot miss an opportunity to see and be seen.

For just once could FORMER Mayor Paul Aronsohn refrain from responding to the news media. How disrespectful of Pastor Johnson that the FORMER Mayor felt the need to be quoted. Shut up Paul; we’re sick and tired of hearing from you. Thanks much.

Remember :
Ridgewood MLK Day Fiasco

Ridgewood MLK Day Fiasco

Posted on

Reader says one would think it would take a miracle, or at least some extremely fortuitous set of circumstances going Lonegan’s way, to enable him to flip the seat back into republican hands

Lonegan Official 8

The fifth congressional district was recently gradually trending blue, out from under Garrett who was still showing up well for re-election every two years until he was ambushed in 2016 via a disingenuous (but admittedly politically successful) LGBT line of attack. He had all the integrity in the world (particularly compared to the average DC swamp denizen) and yet was ruthlessly trashed because he would not yield to pressure to deviate from his strong sense of traditional personal morality. Say what you want but Garrett was not going to do like Obama did and blatantly flip-flop on his belief regarding marriage only being between one biological man and one biological woman. It’s 2018 now, though, and what with the proportional advantage the Democrats have amassed in terms of affiliated registered voters in the 5th Congressional district (gubernatorial candidate Guadagno found voters living in this district considerably less inclined toward her message than did Christie when he ran twice), one would think it would take a miracle, or at least some extremely fortuitous set of circumstances going Lonegan’s way, to enable him to flip the seat back into republican hands.

Posted on

Ridgewood MLK Day Fiasco

Josh Gottheimer

January 18,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, This past Monday the Martin Luther King, jr. interfaith celebration was held. It was intended to be a celebration of the teachings of Dr. King and was to include Rev. Sampson, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in New York as the guest speaker, followed by an outdoor rally and a light lunch. The program was also to feature Ridgewood and Glen Rock student speakers and musical performances by the Indian Hills Chamber Choir and Men of Umoja chorus.

Much of the event was beautiful until Aronsohn and Gottheimer turned it into their own personal soapboxes.

It turned into a political rally of sorts. After Pastor Mack Brandon introduced Rep. Gottheimer and welcomed him to the podium, suddenly FORMER Mayor Aronsohn shoved his way to the front, all but pushing Gottheimer back down. Aronsohn then proceeded to give an unscheduled speech (unscheduled, but not unplanned, because he had a paper in his hand as he bulldozed his way to the altar). Following this ridiculous display, Aronsohn himself went on to welcome Gottheimer to come and speak, even though Gottheimer had already been invited to the microphone by Pastor Brandon a few minutes earlier. People were kind of shocked by Aronsohn going off-script and just inserting himself into the event. Gottheimer then proceeded to give a political rally type of speech, not one honoring Dr. King and his principles and teachings, but one that was self-promoting, all about him and his agenda.

Politicians (or wannabe politicians like Aronsohn) should be banned from speaking at such an event. It was a disgrace.

Posted on

Josh Gottheimer and Phil Murphy are playing games, using gimmicks and illusions to take the eyes of the public off the true issue in New Jersey

phil murphy

New Jersey’s career politicians, like the Clinton Speech writer Gottheimer and out of touch elitist Phil Murphy are playing games, using gimmicks and illusions to take the eyes of the public off the true issue in New Jersey, the grotesquely high taxes it squeezes out of its very own citizens. They want to deflect the blame to D.C. and take the voter’s attention off their fellow Democrats. My friends, the citizens of New Jersey are not that stupid, our people want the politicians to cut the ever ballooning taxes that plague our state.

What needs to be done requires strength, intelligence and an uncompromising will to reduce spending in this state. It requires the leadership that will reverse this state’s anti-business climate to increase the tax base while reducing the tax burden. Sadly, I do not see any of this in Trenton. I see the grandstanding we are all accustomed to, not the leadership we so desperately need.

Gottheimer, who faces a challenge this November, may have gotten this idea from his former employers, the Clintons. Maybe his next suggestion is to have the Clinton foundation administer the charity.

The municipal, county and state officials should do what taxpayers want them to really do — cut taxes, cut spending — not come up with tax loopholes that either won’t pass muster or won’t be sustainable.

Gottheimer said, “The tax hike bill Congress passed last year is a ticking time bomb for New Jersey,” we are proudly declaring that New Jersey won’t shy from a fight. We won’t be America’s piggy bank.” I say to him, I no longer want to be Trenton’s piggy bank and the only ticking time bomb you need to worry about is the mad as hell citizens that want real tax reductions, not a pass the potato blame game.

“This is not partisan,” Mr. Murphy said. “This is a smart versus not smart.” I say, this is lazy and opportunist verses hard diligent work and tenacity. New Jersey is done with tricks and gimmicks, bring us change or resign! Pension reform, re-working the school funding formulas and instituting a pro-business environment is needed now.

Joseph Caruso
Your Friendly Neighborhood Taxpayer

Organization For Economic Growth

Posted on

Gottheimer and Murphy Throw New Jersey Tax Hail Mary

Josh Gottheimer

January 6,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Fair Lawn NJ , Apparently the “Tax the Rich” philosophy of New Jersey lawmakers only applies to when Trenton taxes the rich and not anyone else . The “Taxing the Rich” mantra has driven the state to fiscal suicide and has become a euphemism for taxing everyone on everything .

Today, in a desperate last ditch attempt to prop up Trenton, Congressman Josh Gottheimer and Governor-elect Phil Murphy have joined together to offer a new Tax Plan for New Jersey. Murphy and Gottheimer’s “Hail Mary” Tax Bill looks to restore State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction by providing a tax deduction for taxpayers who make charitable contributions to their state or other local governments.

The two will be joined by Congressman Bill Pascrell and the mayors of Fair Lawn, Paramus and Park Ridge who all expressed support for the plan and their eagerness to implement it, with state support, in their communities. The Tax Hike Bill took a two-by-four to the State of New Jersey, gutting the State and Local Deduction (SALT), sharply limiting New Jersey’s property tax deductions, and imposing a massive Tax Hike on Jersey families and businesses. The Tax Hike Bill was largely paid for on the backs of New Jersey taxpayers and, according to experts, will bring property values down by as much as twenty percent and send businesses and jobs to other states.

Plan restores the value of the State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction by providing a tax deduction for taxpayers who make charitable contributions to their state or other local governments. States and local governments can establish or support funds that pay for local services, including schools, law enforcement, and infrastructure. Taxpayers can make “voluntary contributions” to these funds, for which they will receive an offsetting tax credit. The contributions will be deductible for federal tax purposes under existing law, even for those who pay the alternative minimum tax. This structure effectively restores the benefit of the lost state and local tax deduction to the extent of the contributions for most taxpayers who itemize.

The plan also does not to restore any level of fiscal sanity to the state on New Jersey .

Posted on

Josh Gottheimer voted NO on giving New Jersey families much needed tax cuts

Josh Gottheimer

December 23,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, reader asks , “So Josh Gottheimer’s big ‘tax cutting’ campaign pledge was that he would lower corporate tax rates.
This tax bill does exactly that, but Gottheimer did not vote for it? Was he opposed to the middle class tax cuts that were paired to his favored corporate tax cuts? ”

Gottheimer voted no on tax cuts ,these tax cuts will allow North Jersey families to keep more of their money and New Jersey businesses to invest more in the local economy.

During his election readers poked fun , “There is a Gottheimer poster wrapped around the bear by the Franklin Ave underpass that says ‘Lower taxes’

I am still confused about whether that is a legit poster or someone just being sarcastic.”