Speeding Ticket “Surcharge” NJ’s Newest Tax
By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
?????? Last week Democrat State Senator Jeff Van Drew and Assemblymen Nelson Albano and Matt Milam (Cape May-Cumberland) and Senator Jim Whelan (Atlantic) announced their plans for another statewide tax hike.?? Of course they called it a “surcharge.”?? They want to add $40 to traffic fines that are already ridiculously high and unfair for minor violations.
?? Van Drew estimates that the state will collect $160 million extra from 4 million drivers each year.?? Odds are that you or someone in your family will be one of them.
?? Half of the “surcharge” ($20 per ticket; $80 million per year) will pay for “free” state police protection for 89 low-tax, small towns in NJ that want the service without paying for it. The other half will go to each of the 478 other police departments in NJ (like Atlantic City and Absecon) that routinely pay $200,000 for unused sick time to every overpaid chief who retires every few years.
?? New Jersey is already the highest taxed state in the nation with 11.9% of our personal incomes taken for state and local taxes.?? This plan not only raises our taxes again.?? It perpetuates the culture of waste and corruption that guarantees more tax hikes every year until the economy sinks when enough people leave the state or just stop paying taxes.
?? New Jersey created county and local governments more than 400 years so that people in every small community could decide for themselves what government services they wanted, and what they would pay for them.?? Until 1966, this system worked so well that New Jersey was one of the least taxed, and most prosperous states in the country.??? But then, our local government employees organized and got so strong, they controlled state government and both political parties.
?? During the past 42 years, the public employee unions of our cops, firemen, and public school employees killed local “home rule” in New Jersey.?? State laws now force local taxpayers to pay their public “servants” more than they themselves earn for doing the same work, which is far more than they can afford.?? Almost every year, state government claims to “fix” the problem, not by cutting the cost of local government, but by hiking state taxes to make local property taxes “affordable.”?? This never works because no matter how much money the state gives local governments and public schools, our public “servants” demand and get even more.
?? The proposed $40 extra to be paid by 4 million motorists every year is doing the same thing.?? As Albert Einstein said, it is insanity to expect a different result.? Here’s why:
?? 1.?? Paying for government with hundreds of hidden, indirect taxes, fees, and fines, instead of simple taxes paid by everyone, fools most Jersey voters into thinking that government costs them much less than it really does.
?? Bad politicians get re-elected because voters don’t know the real cost of “the free” government programs they are promised.
?? 2.?? New Jersey state troopers are the highest paid in the country.?? The voters in the 89 small towns that use them do not care because their local taxes do not pay for them.?? And few voters in the rest of the state know what they pay to police those towns as well as their own.
?? 3.?? Traffic fines for minor violations are already too high, and most people see no connection between paying these fines, and keeping our roads safe.?? That is why officers rarely ticket fellow officers, politicians, or anyone with a police hat or “courtesy” card, badge, or decal on their car.?? Municipal judges and court clerks in several North Jersey towns are accused of fixing tickets.?? And Democrat Governor Jim McGreevy actually made it legal to avoid points and “fix” most moving violations with a $250 bribe or “surcharge” paid to the state treasury.?? (See New Jersey Statutes 39:4-97.2, Operating Motor Vehicle in Unsafe Manner.)
?? 4.?? It is plain wrong to link police pay to how many tickets they issue.?? Remember driving in the South with “Yankee” NJ plates in the 1950’s??? In New Jersey, many state agencies already order their inspectors to collect big fines for trivial violations to pay their salaries.
?? A few months ago, State Senator Jeff Van Drew supported “paid family leave” as a favor to Democrat State Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney, and his union friends.?? Now Van Drew (whose Dennis Township home is protected by “free” state police) wants a favor.?? I bet he gets it.
For more information, visit www.libertyandprosperity.org or contact Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-927-7333.??? Seth Grossman hosts a two way talk radio program every Saturday from 8am – 9am on WVLT Vineland, 92.1 FM.