Sometimes I just love Acting Gov. Codey, I really do. This is one of those times. He's not been very active in campaigning for Corzine until the recent spate of ads, but he just came out swingin' at Forrester's 30-in-3 property tax plan. From the Times of Trenton:
"How in God's name is he going to pay for it?" Codey asked. "It's totally unrealistic. I wouldn't even call it pie in the sky."
"The governor cast further doubt on Forrester's plan by relaying how he recently met with the treasurer and discussed state revenues.
"It's not like we're going to have an extra $3 billion sitting around next year," Codey said. "If he can show me in black and white how he's going to pay for it, God bless him. He's going to have to dig up Houdini."
Asked if the Legislature won't consider Forrester's plan if it's considered unrealistic, Codey said, "That's correct."
Codey is expected to continue as president of the State Senate next year, so he does have the authority to say this. The plan is "unrealistic" at best, costing the state-by the GOP's own estimate- $6bil the first year and $3bil each year after, or more if the Dems do the math.
Forrester believes he can cut "waste, fraud and abuse" to get the money. If we can cut that much in waste and fraud, we should use it to plug the massive hole in the state budget for which we have to borrow $4bil to keep afloat this year. So, where will this money come from to pay for the plan? 30-in-3 sounds like another borrow-and-spend Republican fiasco to me.
I'm not a fan of Corzine's plan to increase rebates, which I feel are gimicky and wasteful. (Why should I pay the state to administer a program to send my own money back to me?) But he believes in a constitutional convention for tax reform. At the very least he supports converting the rebate program to a credit program so we don't have to pay to adminsiter a paperwork program. These plans are way better than continuing to borrow hand over fist so officials can grandstand in the short run, then send the bill for all the interest on that debt to us taxpayers for generations to come.
Acting Gov. Codey met with the state treasurer and discussed revenues prior to his remarks about Forrester's plan. He knows what the money situation is in our fair state. And I gotta respect a man who tells it like it is.