Hackettstown Property Taxes

Did your taxes get to the point that you have to move out of town.
What is going on? Where is the money going?
The town is debt free and we are overtaxed.
Isn't it time for all of us to report to the mayor and complain to her about the taxes and for her to explain why the town is debt free and the taxes are so high.
Denville taxes are much lower and have more services.
We are only about 3 square miles and I feel we are spending money like fools.
How about owning a ranch home and a piece of property and the taxes are over $15,000 a year. Retired and collecting Social Security. Yes time to consider to move out of here or put pressure on the Mayor and Town Counsel
I would like you to comment on this overspending town.
Please send your comments on Hackettstown Life and lets hear your thoughts.

OLD MLAN
1 week ago

Sadly, it's old news. And it's part of the same problem the entire state (and other states) are facing. The local and state governments are over-spending, which means they have to raise taxes, which makes residents and businesses leave, which reduces tax income, which means they raise the taxes even more. And the cycle just continues to spiral out of control.

And at this point, it would be very difficult to fix. Most of the over-spending goes to employee salaries and/or benefits. Thus, the only way to truly correct the problem, permanently, is to significantly decrease the amount spent on employees. But because of labor laws and contracts and unions and such, a town mayor can't just simply declare that all town-employee salaries will be reduced by 15%, even if it's the only logical way to balance the budget.

And so, it will just continue to spiral, until one day, the town has to declare itself bankrupt and start all over again. Best to move out now, before that happens. . . .

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
1 week ago

OLD MAN -- did you apply for the senior tax freeze? I have been benefiting from that.

happiest girl
1 week ago

If you have no family here, move out of state, do not move to denville
Your property taxes get split to municipal taxes(Hackettstown) school taxes, county taxes and state taxes, good luck figuring out where the money goes.


If schools stopped the "after hours " sports programs from the budgets and had the parents that wish to have these programs pay for them, taxes would be substantially lower.

It is time that the "public masses" stop paying for the "selective programs" to fulfill some parents after hours babaysitting or aspirations of their child being a sports superstar.
Focus on education ! <- imagine that


Let's see, how do you think they can pay a cop and firefighter to retire at 40 with a large pension and medical; and the much larger numbers of teachers retiring with an excessive pension and medical? Plus other typical public corruption wasting at the local and county level.

We are in a hole and to get out would take harsh measures that the public unions will try their best to stop. The NJEA doesn't spend about 40 million a year "for the children," they spend this money to ensure their members benefits.

Time that the masses who are not public workers stand up, let you voice be heard. To those that think you should just "take" annual tax increases much over 2% are just wrong...


Look at your tax bill to see how much of your taxes goes to which agency, then go to that governing body and ask for their explanation.

Music gal Music gal
1 week ago

How does one go about applying for the senior tax feeeze and what exactly is the benefit? Do your taxes remain the same forever?

Parental Unit Parental Unit
1 week ago

I recently found a listing that indicates a salary of $78,600 a year, for just ONE of the "social workers" at Hackettstown High School. Assuming that employee also gets health insurance and other benefits, and possibly a pension, that means the town is probably putting out at least $85,000 a year, for a high-school social worker. Not a teacher, not the principal, not a district administrator--a social worker.

Yes, I'm sure that person serves some useful purpose in the school. But $85K a year? And another listing indicates town elementary school teachers have a base salary of up to $87,450 a year. (So you have to figure an actual outlay of at least $95K.)

And they have summers off.

THAT is where your property taxes go.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
1 week ago

But that social worker probably has a masters degree. So $85K for someone with a masters isn't a lot of money.

not sack
1 week ago

and social workers are usually part of child study teams - a pretty important part of the staff - and you don't say how many years those people have been teaching - geesh - lets all go kick teachers - without whom some would not be able read or post here -
Get your town budget and see where the money goes and decide what you'd like to have removed from the budget - what services you'd like to remove..................enough said.

4catmom 4catmom
1 week ago

Eligibility requirements for the NJ senior tax freeze are here:
http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/ptr/eligibility.shtml

There is a link within for the income limit.

OnTheEdge OnTheEdge
1 week ago

Teachers, etc.,pay into their pension and benefits!


"Teachers, etc.,pay into their pension and benefits!"

True, but a very small, inadequate fraction. Not sustainable fiscally speaking hence the ever increasing costs to the taxpayer.


man I wish people would have attended the 2/8 Town council meeting when the budget was passed and fully explained. I will recap:

the 2018 town budget actually went down. However there were some commercial properties in town that had their taxes reassessed which lower the ratables in town by nearly $8million.

The avg home in town is assessed at $276k. For that avg homeowner your town portion of your taxes went up $31.68/ year or $1.14/month. So depending on where your home's assessment is compared to the town avg you can see how much/little your taxes are going up.


The Town makes up 21% of your property taxes
the County makes up another 21%
and then the BOE makes up the remaining 58%
which means on avg the town portion of our property taxes is around $1750/year, The rest of your taxes the town has no control over. The BOE is still working on their budget but most likely they will hit the 2% cap yet again.

lastly for you to be paying over $15k a year in taxes your home would need to be assessed at roughly $500k.


The next town council meeting is on 2/22 at 7pm if anyone would like to discuss the budget/taxes any further.


Sports programs kill a school budget. Football in particular. Hackettstown spent over $1 million on a turf field without even knowing the cost to maintains such a field. Oh, by the way the field was purchased without competing a contract. Just good 'ol boy stuff. Football should be completely pay to play out of the parents pockets who want their kids concussed by 14.

Doug Williams Doug Williams
1 week ago

happiest girl - The screen name is "OLD MLAN". Let's not confuse them with other posters. We don't even know if this is a man or not.

OLD MLAN - Although I suspect the mayor & council would actually welcome the community to come out to a meeting for a change, you only bring up town issues. Less than 1/4 of your tax bill is from the town. County tax is larger - why no mention of them? And the School Tax is well over double the municipal tax. If we want to be effective, we have to go to where the source of the issue is. We also need to be edicuated before that conversation takes place. Going to the Council and bringing up Board of Ed matters is not going to help. Where is the money going? Check the budgets. The Town, BOE, and County all are required to publish the budgets and are freely available for download. More than that, the town does a budget workshop where you not only see the process, you can participate in it. How many people go to any council, BOE, or freeholder meeting let alone get involved in the budget itself?

Just as a side note, you need over a $500,000 assessment to get to the kind of taxes you've got. You may imply it's not much because it's "a ranch". But since there's only a single property listed in the public records with that level of tax, it's not hard to see that's quite a house. On the other hand, personally I don't see why the assessment hasn't been appealed. The #2 ranch pays a good amount less and there isn't a person in town that would argue with the reasons for the valuation.

As a final PS - I moved here from Denville. I can think of a house right in town, sitting on a lot over double sized with a pool - when I look up the taxes it's well over $18,000 a year. I don't think a good thing to shoot for.


I wasn't knocking the importance of teachers or a good education. But in NJ, $85K a year is more than the average salary of a COLLEGE English teacher. In fact, it's more than most people make--and most people have to work 12 months a year. It's simply an absurd amount of money to be paying someone to teach things like basic algebra to teenagers for 3/4 of the year. Especially when the residents obviously can't afford it.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
1 week ago

Wasn’t Doug Williams a Redskin QB?

Iroonic. Ain’t it.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
1 week ago

Bring back the ability of citizens to vote on the school budget instead of allowing it to simply be passed. Without the afore mentioned there is no incentive for BOE to hold down costs.


Get rid of pensions and free health care for state workers and your taxes will go down. Why should the rest of us have to pay a health insurance premium and put money into a 401K, while these people get crap handed to them...

Metsman Metsman
1 week ago

Steven - eliminating sports from budgets unless the parents of the participating students pay for it is a slippery slope. While I get where you're coming from, it seems like that would need to be applied across the board (marching band, band, orchestra, choir, all the various clubs, in short any and everything that requires money to be run). I'm not singling out sports, music, activities, or anything else, but it should be consistent, and while I don't have children in the school system (yet), I'm not sure that's the best way. That said, i fully agree our taxes, public benefits, etc. are completely out of control and need to be addressed.


Get a better paying job or move to West Virginia. NJ is expensive. We deal with it. Blaming teachers and police isn’t going to solve anything. We need them to do their jobs and they deserve to be paid.

NJ has way too many municipalities. That is what is costing us. Duplication across the state with thousands of school districts police departments and on and on.

Sucks but ya gotta pay or move.

Grumpy oldgit Grumpy oldgit
1 week ago

if taxes are too high, then what do you want to cut? what services are you receiving that you no longer want to receive? you can't say something that has been promised to someone in the past, as that's already been agreed to by both parties. only things not promised (contractually or verbally).


Good education is important.

OLD MLAN is property rich but feeling poor.

HG and PU are old.

All taxes are too high.

All public benefits are too much.

All public salaries are too high.

Social Workers are worth less than most.

NJ is expensive.

Blaming teachers is fun.

Extra curricula should cost extra.

Ijay hates NJEA for self-lobbying, hates teachers for having a career and hates BOE for everything......

Got it. Let's move on.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
1 week ago

NJ has way too many school districts with way too much administration


...yet, you all still vote for the Democrats...(look at the Newark Assembly you continue re-elect, year over and over) to fix the system they broke - continue spend and defend the contracts, abbots, unions, etc.

Oh, if I'm wrong, I'll concede once I see what your Phil Murphy will do [at least Christie did much more in breaking some of unions' muscle, municipal's shared-services, and cap on property taxes {which your Democrat assembly would not allowed without the towns loophole to go more than that}, so we'll see]

Living in a Democrat state is a Terrible state to make ends meet


"The avg home in town is assessed at $276k. For that avg homeowner your town portion of your taxes went up $31.68/ year or $1.14/month."

my apologies, avg town taxes went up $13.68/year not $31.68 :)


Parental Unit,

I was initially mailed the senior tax application ..... if you do not get one by Feb. 22 you should call them. The telephone number and information are on this website.
Yes, my tax froze that year and stays at that amount forever.

www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/ptr

happiest girl
1 week ago

Schools costs are out of control, every school should be built in a modular fashion,
add ons would be simplified and standardized expense to expend.

Sports ( football, base ball, soccer ...any sport that requires a field or any other building or property outside of the standard school building must be "pay to play"...that is the only equitable way .

Teachers tenure should be revoked until every veteran that served this country has FREE medical care, they have earned it regardless of the cost and it should be the same Health Care provider the teachers union supports...don't wan t them to be the hypocrites.

We need educated children to be going thru the school systems, not sports heros .


Steven, please show us your facts regarding sports and other activities being budget savers. How much will the average homeowner see in savings?

btownguy btownguy
1 week ago

Either Steven has no kids or they are out of school. Anyway some of these comments regarding public education are really funny and surreal. I think everyone is willing to cut someone else's benefit but not their own. Imagine the outcry if only veterans who were wounded or in the front lines during an actual war received VA benefits. Think of the money we would save. Our country has priority issues and there are funding problems as we all know. Unfortunately there needs to be tough decisions but as always there are no easy answers. Kind a like NIMBY...................


I'll bet the insurance costs schools need to carry to cover sports events is pretty high due to high medical costs for injuries.


I will not calculate the expense of outside of Education costs of uilding and maintaining fields , lighting , bleachers, buses to transport these "special students", cost of payroll & benefits for the drivers, the maintenance of the buses, the salary of the mechanic , his benefits, the insurance for the bus, etc., you re more than ignorant if you cannot extract the obvious.
Ask for a financial accounting from the BOE., whatever I say you will be critical of.

Why should parents that do not have children , or have put their child thru school , have to continue to pay for the spiraling "after education" programs ?
Things change and the system needs to !

And for the record ..I do have children and I pay in excess of 28k a year in taxes between my homes .for more than a few decades...the time to re evaluate and re align the accountability has been long overdue.

Would you like to discuss college tuition as well ? ( oh I imagine that does not count , you will "borrow" that ? )


When I see parents with their children, outside Walmart "begging to sell cookies for their school trip", it really turns my stomach, what values are you teaching your child ?
How about if the parent went and got a part time job to be accountable for the child they brought into the world and show the child thru example , how to be responsible for their actions of bringing a child into the world and the responsibility that goes along with that life long commitment made when they decided to have children.


The state and local municipalities need to be run like private sector businesses. When costs increase you reduce the workforce in the private sector. The same needs to be done by the state and local municipalities. Start by cutting the workforce by 10% per year for three years. Also, freeze employees' traditional pensions and enact a 401K where employees contribute to their pensions. The way it's set up now the state and lical municipalities simply extract more money from citizens. In NJ, democrats are responsible for giving generous benefits and wages hikes to their union buddies. It's unbelievable how NJ residents don't realize how they are being fleased and continue to re-elect these democratic clowns. On top of that now we have the tax and spend Murohy as NJ governor who has already begun raising the deficit with his programs to support illegal aliens. It's so out of control in NJ that the only viable way to get relief is to leave the state.


Kudos to the parents "begging" to sell cookies. They're teaching their kids BY EXAMPLE that you have to get out there and work for what you want.
Yeah, I buy a box ( and usually bring the to my office).
Positive reinforcement for hard work.
I have no children , but don't bit@h about paying school taxes- someone paid them for me.
And BTW-I probably learned as much about success on the playing field as in the classroom in HS.


"Ijay hates NJEA for self-lobbying, hates teachers for having a career and hates BOE for everything......"

Having a career? What is this supposed to mean SD, you are speaking gibberish?

A public job retirement medical and pensions in 2018.

In the 85k Social Worker example the salary alone isn't the biggest problem. Yes, maybe it could be trimmed to 70k and I am not impressed by any Masters of Education. The realm problem is the Cadillac medical plan and especially retiree medical and pensions. So,

1) Medical while working is brought in line with the private sector
2) Retiree medical ended
3) Pensions transitioned to 401ks

Doing any less is giving the middle finger to the taxpayers, which the NJEA has been doing since at least the 1980s.


“I think everyone is willing to cut someone else's benefit but not their own.“

Best definition of democracy I’ve ever read lol

Justintime Justintime
1 week ago

What is fair or excessive is subjective. However, it is very clear that the public unions have driven up total compensation. To believe otherwise is to be foolish which many public workers have no shame being as long as they are over-compensated.


Steven, so you claim that “If schools stopped the "after hours " sports programs from the budgets and had the parents that wish to have these programs pay for them, taxes would be substantially lower.”

OBVIOUSLY a statement like that must be backed up with some facts and research. I asked for those facts or research that brought you to that conclusion.

You then replied: “I will not calculate the expense of (this stuff) you re more than ignorant if you cannot extract the obvious. “

So how did you come to this conclusion then? If you didn’t calculate it, we can only then infer that you’re assuming what those costs are and thus what the savings are. And we all know what happens to dummies that assume...

So, in short, you have no proof to back up your hyperbole, otherwise you would have shared it. Thanks for contributing nothing!

btownguy btownguy
1 week ago

Sports and extra-curricular cost $1M per year.

https://www.hackettstown.org/Page/8726

Mark Mc. Mark Mc.
1 week ago

Now THAT is what's wrong with American education! You now have to provide actual factual evidence that athletic fields cost money to build and maintain, that athletic equipment costs money, and that athletic coaches get paid. Because unless and until you can prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, you must presume that it's all "free."

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
1 week ago

Thank you Mark for educating the critical parties here , however I am certain you will now be challenged....because that is easier than facing the reality of the broken system.

By the way , I believe 1 M is not covering all the expenses , but that's just me.


So just for some comparison...

My house in hackettstown is ~700 sq feet....on a 50x150 lot, I pay just under $5000 a year in taxes

My new house in blairstown is ~2800 sq feet....on a 3 acre lot.....i pay $7500 a year in taxes

So for a heck of a lot more, my taxes are only $2500 more

Also, in comparison, my grandfather lives in hackettstown....his house is 1300 sq ft, on a 100x150 lot, and he pays $6500 with senior and veteran tax breaks. as well as constantly fighting re-assessments

when I was shopping for new houses, I did not even bother looking in Hackettstown, you can go 10-15 minutes out and get so much more for so much less.


Steven, that $1M is just for the “instructional” portion of athletics and extra curricular that the budget broke out to separate line items.

New fields, equipment, etc. is probably buried in another item for facilities or something.

Mark Mc. Mark Mc.
1 week ago

Sports programs cost so much money. They ultimately eat away at the arts and music programs, which cost money to run as well. Pay to play is the way to go. And in no way to high school students need to play on professional fields. It's just irresponsible and a bullish jock mentality that runs these programs. But guess what most of the board members are big time football heads with skin in the game. So it comes down to an irresponsible set of priorities.

Doug Williams Doug Williams
1 week ago

Yeah lets stop after school programs so that kids can play more playstation, get fat, and get into trouble... That's ridiculous. Playing on a sports team teaches dedication, working with others, and taking care of your body through exercise. If everything was pay to play then the school wouldn't be able to field a team for some sports and activities. Some families can't afford an extra cost like that. The way to save money in this state is to overhaul the pension and benefits fund. It probably won't ever happen because of the unions, but what these people get is ridiculous. Very few people in the private sector get pensions and free healthcare. That is the way of the past. It's time teachers, cops, etc. live the same way that we do.

Metsman Metsman
1 week ago

Gotta keep the kids on the field, in the band, in the art studio or the after school computer club
OR,
they might be BEHIND the school learning to roll joints and make crack pipes.
Never, ever inderestimate the value of extracurricular activities.
IMHO- the benefit packages given to public employees is way out of wack.


I agree benefits packages are a huge part of it. But I have news for you not every kid in a school's student body is enrolled in sports. And not every sport draws the same financial demand. Why doesn't Hackettstown have a hockey team? Cost very expensive cost, and if those programs did exist they would draw on heavy subsidy from those parents to make it happen. Spend more money on art and music less on football. Here's a whole thread discussing it from a few years back.

http://www.hackettstownlife.com/forum/667312

Doug Williams Doug Williams
1 week ago

Gee Doug - sounds like you didn't make the team...

Academics, athletics, art - all contribute to an education and make the person a well rounded individual, a better citizen, a better taxpayer, etc.

Not all lessons are learned in a textbook.

Red Grange
1 week ago

Wow, all of our problems could be solved if anyone here had the guts to run for a BOE seat or higher. (dripping with sarcasm)

The link provides all the information you need to get on the ballot for the BOE.
(you know you won't)
When you run, please make sure to include your screen name so that we know your platform.

https://www.hackettstown.org/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=10556&dataid=9424&FileName=How%20to%20Become%20a%20Board%20Member.pdf

Have a nice day.

crazyjane crazyjane
1 week ago

Red, I think the main point is that some kids are getting extra, taxpayer-paid education than other kids. Football fields, equipment, and coaches cost a lot of money. But even if every kid wanted to be on the football team, they couldn't. So the kids who DO get to play football are getting something extra that the other kids aren't.

And there is also the issue of necessity. Yes, kids can learn from participating in after-school sports, or band, or even the chess club. They would also learn more if the taxpayers sent every kid to live in Paris for two weeks to study at the Louvre. But a line has to be drawn, somewhere, because the state and the town are going broke, which was the point of the whole thread. And there is logic and fairness in cutting programs that only benefit a small percentage of children in the school district, OR allowing those programs to continue, but only with volunteer, private funding.

Personally, I'm in favor or cutting costs from other areas, but I do think the taxpayers need to seriously consider whether the costs of some school activities and facilities are really worth the limited benefit they may provide to the community.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
1 week ago

Red, you're not an Illinois grad by any chance, are you?


Just a bit of math if anyone actually cared about it - Total $31 mill budget vs $800k sports + $200k extra curricular = approx 2.5%. Average $280k house, 1.64 rate school only is right about $4500. Times your 2.5% and after generally rounding up this is an argument over $115. Just to have only the elite $ folks to play.

There are far bigger fish to fry.

Get the admin costs down. And get all the mandated programs down.


The entire State with how many districts...How many Supers, etc are needed and what do they really do...or know about the Students.... The Sports is terrific but at what cost for Foot Ball Field ?...How many students had the opportunity to benefit their education on playing , how many have gone on to Major teams ?...any Girls in that ?.... The Arts and music opened to all certainly didn't need NEW TURF... And the major blast to BOE....who decided that FFA and Ag was no longer needed...To both males and females to carry on generations of their Families belonging. How many went on to family businesses. Farming...Florists..land scaping etc... certainly a huge amount more than what I saw HHS former players in the Super Bowl...


Should we cut the Theater Program?
Don't see any Hackettstown students nominated for an Oscar.
How about we cut the Chess Club?
Don't see any Hackettstown Grandmasters.
Let's just teach one foreign language- why so many?
We should be brainstorming ways to make MORE programs available to the next generation, not eliminating them.
The problem is too much $$$ on administrative and benefits.
We've already hobbled our future generations with incredible levels of debt.
The least we cam do is give them a well rounded education- both in classroom and outside- so they might be able to find success.
We have certainly stacked the deck against them.


“Get the admin costs down. And get all the mandated programs down.”

Agree completely. We have a top-heavy problem that starts at the state and federal level where school districts are presented with carrot-on-a-stick spending: do xyz or we take funding away. Very few of us have the desire to say no to money...

Justintime Justintime
1 week ago

I guess electing three republican mayors in a row hasn't helped like it's supposed to, eh ?

DevilsFan DevilsFan
1 week ago

The Mayor had no one running against her. It’s actually gotten worse.

pampurr pampurr
1 week ago

Worse? Doesnt the town have zero debt now?

Justintime Justintime
1 week ago

We are done with this area. Husband is retiring this year and we cannot afford the taxes here on my salary. Putting house on the market this spring and moving out of state!


So some of you think police and teachers make to much? They have to live here as well


I think that many teachers and police in NJ are over-compensated, when one considers ALL the factors involved, compared to other occupations. That means considering things like education/training requirements, health benefits, whether you have summers off, pension benefits, occupational risks, job security, availability/requirement of overtime, cost of work clothing, other people willing to do the job for less, etc.

Compensation for such jobs is heavily skewed, compared to the private sector. If M&M needs to hire an accountant, and they know they can hire a qualified person for $50K a year, then they will pay $50K a year to hire an accountant. If there are plenty of accountants looking for work, and M&M can get someone for $45K a year, then they will offer $45K.

But if the police department wants to hire a new officer, and the salary is set at $50K a year, then they offer $50K a year. And if they get 200 qualified applicants for the position, then never try to get one to accept the job for $45K a year--they just pick the person they think is best out of the 200. And if they get 500 qualified applicants, they don't try offering $40K a year--they just pick the best out of the 500.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
1 week ago

Wow, they just pick the best instead of getting the cheapest.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
1 week ago

@JerseyWolf - or maybe everyone else is underpaid? Why people begrudge others a decent living (in their opinion) is beyond me. 50k is not a lot of money and still puts you in the working poor, living paycheck to paycheck class of people just like the rest of us schlubs.

How much money do you need to not be considered poor nowadays? 90-100k married without kids?

scottso scottso
1 week ago

At one of the town council meetings I went to the mayor described how the town has only minutely raised taxes and that the majority of our hike is coming from the schools. She actually called to the school board and challenged them to not raise the taxes as much as they did the previous year.


I don't begrudge others for doing well and making a good living. But as a citizen, voter, and taxpayer, I--as every other such person--have a responsibility to oversee the government to ensure that it operates in the most practical, efficient manner possible. And right now, it's not working efficiently, which is why the property taxes are skyrocketing, which is the whole point of this thread. And therefore, it is our responsibility, as citizens, to try to fix the problems.

Basic economics: If you can't afford to meet your financial needs, then you increase income and/or reduce costs. The government keeps attempting to raise income, by raising taxes, but it has become counter-productive, as people keep leaving the state, which ends up reducing tax revenue. Therefore, the government needs to reduce costs. And the biggest, most unnecessary costs involve employee compensation. That means that the only logical solution is to reduce that compensation, by reducing the number of employees and/or by reducing compensation for some employees. And of those two options, it is more practical to reduce compensation (if possible--assuming you can still find people to fill the positions for less compensation). It means that you still have the same number of people employed, without a reduction in government services.

Yes, it will not be pleasant for employees to suddenly start being paid less. But it will be a whole lot easier than watching the government financially collapse and putting those people out of work, anyway.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
1 week ago

Are we saying that government is running like a lean, well oiled, fiscally responsible machine, however the darn teachers and police officers are making too much money?

If so, then I say that taxes are where they should be. I don't see the point in slashing salaries of the people doing the thankless job of teaching our children and protecting our communities. That's just silly. If the bulk of my property taxes are going to teachers and cops, I am perfectly fine with that.

The argument is lower middle-class warfare.

scottso scottso
1 week ago

Thankless but a lot of time off, good medical benefits for life, and a generous pension; all on the taxpayer dime... PRICELESS...

BTW, it is not lower middle-class when they retire, it is upper middle-class.


Where is the other 3.5 Billion going to come from?

"Christie scraped money together to get through the first half of a 10-part ramp up to full pension funding — a $2.5 billion payment this year. But the second half building up to a more than $6 billion yearly payment will be tougher."

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/02/phil_murphys_very_first_ask_the_governor.html#incart_2box_nj-homepage-featured


anyone wondering what the new infrastructure budget plan will raise state taxes?
from today's NYTimes:
Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Puts Burden on State and Private Money
The president’s $200 billion plan recasts the federal government as a minority stakeholder in the nation’s new infrastructure projects.

Hmmmmm.......................

4catmom 4catmom
1 week ago

The only thing worse than tax and spend is to cut taxes and spend..... Isn't that how we got Atlantic City? Ah, the memories....

iJay; there are two sides of the pension/benefit story --- legacy and going forward. Conflating the two as a monolithic problem requiring the single response of don't pay it is misstating the issue to begin with.

Good luck getting out of the debt or wriggling out of the IOUs.

Probably have better luck cutting bene's going forward, but that's a different story and you keep treating both as one.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
1 week ago

" I--as every other such person--have a responsibility to oversee the government to ensure that it operates in the most practical, efficient manner possible. And right now, it's not working efficiently, which is why the property taxes are skyrocketing, which is the whole point of this thread. And therefore, it is our responsibility, as citizens, to try to fix the problems."

So Jerseywolf, I'm curious, have you looked at the town's budget? The past years are on the website and 2018's will be up soon.
Have you attended Town council meeting where the budget has been discussed openly?
In the past there have been Saturday budget meetings where each department comes in and council goes over each department's budget one by one, have you attended any of those?
Because you have spoken broadly about government spending yet none of your examples applies to Hackettstown so you come off as a little uninformed locally.

Here are some facts,

2018's budget is actually less than 2017's
The town is debt free
On top of that the town has just shy of $2mill in capital improvement surplus so if any projects are needed we can pay out of pocket vs issuing debt that the taxpayers are on the hook for.

I encourage all to look at our budget and come to council meetings to discuss ways you feel we can save, we are proud of our budget and would love the opportunity to discuss it. Old Mlan started this thread telling others to tell mayor and council how the spending is out of control and the taxes are too high yet every example since has nothing to do with anything the town has control over. The next town council meeting is next Thursday 2/22 at 7pm, I welcome all to attend.


I agree JL, lots of thinking with one's tummy versus one's noggin. Turns out it's not that he's paying too much in taxes, it's that he just doesn't make enough money. All depends on your angle :>)

Factually, Hackettstown falls in the middle of NJ municipality property taxes at 276 out of 565 municipalities with an average of $7,780 in 2016. High end was Millburn at $22K, low end was Walpack at $1,800. (There were a couple more higher/lower but sort of outliers like Camden and some rich place I have never heard of.) Points of interest: Washington Township $3,882, Phillipsburg $4,272, Sussex Borough $5,398, Alpha Borough $5,527, Vernon Township $5,734, Dover $5,866, Lebanon $5,862, Oxford Township $6,518, etc. You get the drift. So move there, iJay…..

https://patch.com/new-jersey/hackettstown/who-pays-njs-biggest-smallest-property-tax-bills-check-hackettstown-0

Don’t know if this will display, but here’s 9 years of tax rates for h-town and indy (for reference). The strange number is undoubtedly a re-assess year so wild rate changes accompany wild home value changes that year. With 8 years of usable data, H-town’s average increase was 2.65%; the highest was 4.37% in 2016. Indy was 2.35%, the highest was 3.79%. Average inflation over the entire period was 1.89% making the actual increase, above inflation, .76% for H-town and .46% for Indy increases, on average, over 9 years. That's point-xx% increase folks, above inflation.

So I can understand being upset about the total cost, I mean $50K is still a lot of money in my book. I can also understand your ire about the recent 3 years of plus 2% increases for H-town, but where’s the applause for 2017? Sort of let that one just slip right on by ya, didn't ya.

Facts are our friends.

htown % increase indy % increase inflation


2008 4.156 1.978 3.85
2009 4.246 2.17% 1.975 -0.15% -0.34
2010 2.458 -42.11% 1.987 0.61% 1.64
2011 2.485 1.10% 2.022 1.76% 3.16
2012 2.553 2.74% 2.097 3.71% 2.07
2013 2.611 2.27% 2.167 3.34% 1.47
2014 2.703 3.52% 3.027 39.69% 1.62
2015 2.794 3.37% 3.168 4.66% 0.12
2016 2.916 4.37% 3.215 1.48% 1.26
2017 2.965 1.68% 3.324 3.39% 2.13

total 21.21% 18.80% i 16.98
average2.65% 2.35% 1.89

strangerdanger strangerdanger
1 week ago

and again SD only 21% of your property tax in Hackettstown actually goes to the town. The rest is county and BOE

town's avg taxes went up $30/year the past few years and $13.68 this year.


Thanks JimL, that punctuates that “facts” without context don’t always paint a true picture.

Justintime Justintime
1 week ago

Jim L. - that is an awesome stat. What is each percentage for the BOE and County?

scottso scottso
1 week ago

Maybe we could have the town work with our local congressional office to help return federal tax dollars to Hackettstown...PD, First Responders and Public works are easy grant opportunities...Belvidere got a $1M

http://www.nj.com/warren/index.ssf/2017/12/belvidere_gets_1m_worth_of_trucks_generators_compu.html


way ahead of you PWMS. The town passed a resolution to participate in the 1033 program. Congressman Gottheimer was in town a few Sundays ago to meet with us and we have put together a grant committee to look for opportunities that will benefit the town


scottso, the breakdown of our property tax goes as following:

54.51% BOE
22.26% County
20.78% Municipal
1.33% County open space
1.12% Municipal Library

http://www.hackettstown.net/finance-office-c-f-o/
you can see it in our user friendly budgets


No doubt schools have been sucking the wind out NJ budgets for ever. Maybe time to do some consolidation, we don't really need over 500 municipalities doing the same thing. The problem is obvious the solution gets muddled with our racist leaders who have a not in my backyard mentality.

Doug Williams Doug Williams
1 week ago

You're the man Jim thanks.

Scottso Scottso
1 week ago

Well there you go... time to trim the fat with the BOE budget.

Metsman Metsman
1 week ago

Turns out it's not that he's paying too much in taxes, it's that he just doesn't make enough money.

This! +100 forum points SD.

Basic economics: things have a cost.

No one is 'for' wasteful spending, but educating our children should be a municipalities top priority, no? Would you rather the majority percentage went to the police? That's rhetorical because the answers are obvious.

scottso scottso
1 week ago

Jim, I actually wasn't criticizing the Hackettstown government's operation or spending. Although the town's residents are dealing with rather high property taxes (particularly relative to their incomes), as you noted, that is only partially under control of the town government. There exist a HUGE number of county, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations regarding how municipalities are operated and financed (and how employees are hired and compensated), and the towns are only partially in control.

All I was trying to point out, in my last post, was that the only logical way to correct the problem is through a reduction in employee compensation. Raising taxes isn't working. Cutting taxes, hoping that it will somehow (miraculously) lead to higher tax revenues, isn't working. Adding all sorts of new lottery games isn't working. The federal government is too broke to bail the state out. The only reasonable fix is to reduce costs. And since cutting the power to traffic lights, to save on electricity, isn't going to make the state any better, the only practical thing to cut is employee compensation, which represents such a large portion of the government budget.

Exactly how and where those cuts are made and implemented is ultimately up to the voters. And ultimately, to do things properly, some things will have to change at all levels of government. But if they are not made, then things can only continue to spiral out of control, with an inevitable result.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
1 week ago

Think we have to bring new public employees on to the payroll with a revised, more realistic benefit package and longer length of service until retirement.
Sunset those now covered- phase out their packages.
If their Unions won't cooperate- default on their current package.
AND- just so you don't think I'm unwilling to feel the pain- raise the full Benefit retirement age for SS.
Do the math- no other way.


I admit I'm no economist. But to me, it seems the changes need to come, first, at a federal level. Congress needs to order that all pensions be phased out (not just "canceled," but phased out), as they are causing/allowing the state and local governments to effectively run up huge future debts. It's a political maneuver used to bypass the state balanced-budget requirements--they promise to give money in the future to current employees, even though the state doesn't actually have that money (or, at least, not all of it).

Unfortunately, the states are unwilling and/or unable to fix the pension messes they've gotten themselves into. Thus, unless the federal government does something, those pension debts are only going to continue to grow, until they are finally unsustainable. Then, one state after another will essentially go bankrupt.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
1 week ago

That's pretty funny JerseyWolf when you consider the pensions and benefits congress receives............

4catmom 4catmom
1 week ago

And that, 4cat, is why America is really screwed. And why everyone is miserable and complaining that nothing is getting fixed.

And in 50 years, people will look back and ask, "They could see what was happening--why didn't they DO something?!"

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
1 week ago

You are no economist :-). And doubtful the fed will stomp on states rights; and least not ubtil one goes bankrupt.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
1 week ago

we don’t even have busses and pay more tax than some towns

fed up
1 week ago

Hackettstown doesn't have that much commercial to help and even then all towns are high even those with a lot of commercial, e.g. Fairfield, Paramus, Bridgewater. And sorry to say (not really) the main cause is the education system.


"And sorry to say (not really) the main cause is the education system."

Have you read some of the ridiculous comments and grammar used by some on this forum? I wouldn't blame the education system but instead those that did not take advantage of it and continue to remain ignorant throughout adulthood. While it doesn't fit into your agenda, location also matters.

Goeagles
7 days ago

iJay has a serious inferiority complex stemming from his "earning" an online degree. Read all his comments through that lens. Quite sad actually.

happybdaycalico happybdaycalico
7 days ago

"and again SD only 21% of your property tax in Hackettstown actually goes to the town" Yes, thanks for reminding readers of this. And NJ revenue, all taxes, consists of about close 50% property tax dollars; one of the only states to structure taxes in this fashion: https://taxfoundation.org/property-taxes-percent-collections/

And IMO, it's the tax structure that NJ needs to change.

"Thanks JimL, that punctuates that “facts” without context don’t always paint a true picture." What a bogus snarky back-handed comment from my favorite lurker. I painted a very true picture with just the right amount of context. JimL just expanded the picture, his info is great, its additional information, but it was not missing or needed to explain my comments. The subject was Hackettstown Property Taxes --- and that's the context I reported on, property tax collections. Nothing missing, no spin, no need to taunt about the "facts."

As JIT knows, and as I have said in the past; it's not the NJ total tax burden that's totally out of whack (it's bad, but there are worse); it's the NJ tax structure that relies on property tax which unfairly targets fixed income workers and is completely uncompetitive with 49 other states and the District of Columbia. If you own property, on a fixed income, you can't help but save a lot of money just by crossing the state line --- to almost any other state. We are not competitive with this tax structure.

My facts stand, they are valid and true. JimL's addition adds some valuable insights, but does not change nor correct anything I said. I did not leave anything out, there was no "context" missing from the "facts."

strangerdanger strangerdanger
7 days ago

OK. Start a municipal income tax and lower property taxes. Fairer to those who are less wealthy???

twentytwenty
7 days ago

Online degree, me? No, I did mention that "younger" folks getting Masters are doing it online. No problem as long as it is from a reputable source. I have taken online courses, from such sources such as:

https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cbmp/pages/home

So, inferiority? Sorry, if anything superiority...


ij...... c'mon man...

twentytwenty
7 days ago

twentytwenty: JIT is fond of pointing out that first, any tax plan is theft, and two, in any tax plan there are winners and losers. Just a fact of life.

IMO, you are correct, certainly roughly right, although I am not sure it's municipal since much of this is intertwined with the state. IMO we need to move away from asset taxing (fixed assets, property) and move towards income, usage and consumption taxes. That is, tax more based on what you make and what you spend versus the house you live in. Losers will be those making and spending money; winners will be those no longer earning or spending that much.

NJ takes about 50% of its revenue from property. US Average is 35%. If NJ moved to that, we would see a 30% drop in our property tax. Granted, our other taxes would rise, but the burden now would be born by the working, the spending, and not those not spending with homes --- the retired.

Or another recommendation is look at 49 states and model yourself after the best of breed, tax structure wise.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
7 days ago

Do something but the unions want to do nothing, continue with the excessive unsustainable total compensations...


There’s nothing wrong with online degrees from reputable brick and mortar universities. Only old farts who are unable to get with the times think there is.


Unsustainable compensation? That's instead of increased salaries.

I'll tell you the unsustainable compensation I don't like - $3K to each veteran (from separate thread), from the state. That's more than any teacher is getting in this compensation scheme. Why is NJ, and not the Federal Government, providing whatever is appropriate compensation to veterans to ensure enough of the right people join?


You want to see what teachers are making here in our district then take a look at his site.

http://php.app.com/agent/educationstaff/search

We pay the HS librarian and a Spanish teacher $80K a year... What?! That's insane...

Metsman Metsman
6 days ago

80 grand a year? Maybe they should find a better district.

Goeagles
6 days ago

Mets should find a better job if he thinks thats flush for nj.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
6 days ago

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEHOINUSNJA672N

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/NJPCPI#

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEHOINUSNJA646N

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/17/09/21/interactive-map-charting-the-terrain-of-racial-disparity-in-nj/

$80k income is pretty good in warren county all things considered.

Justintime Justintime
6 days ago

I don't even have a college degree and make much more than that. I would say for how important good teachers are to our future seems a little under paid to me!


Still pissed off!!

I don't care what a teacher, administrator, government etc's job is-

Do you wake up in a warm house?

Take a hot shower?

Put on clean clothing? Even a fresh pair of socks, or underwear?

Is you job in someplace that has a roof? Heat? AC? A chair?

Set hours? Time to sleep? Food?

Or-

Do you often take a 'B' bath- (wipe your worst parts with a baby wipe when you get the chance)- wring out your socks when you can with canteen water and a little soap you have stashed away and hang them to dry?

Instead of a hot cup of fresh coffee you tear open a small packet of freeze dried coffee and pour it into your mouth and chew? Many times when a call comes in at 1am, 2, 3, etc.. after barely sleeping a couple hours. You cherish these packets as you had to win it in a card game where you pass time in the middle of sand and play for shitty pieces of horded food or a smoke.

Have to poop? *If* you are allowed to stop whatever you are doing- go walk out into the wilderness regardless of a downpour of rain, below 0 degrees at 3am or 125+ at 3pm- dig a hole and more often than not - look for a nearby leaf or 2.

Ever been on a forced road march carrying 35, 45, 55+ lbs of gear, for 12, 15, 20, 25 forced miles- and when the troops stop for a few minutes then- the medics don't quit- it is their time to tend to those who need attention.

Ever go back to your tent- remove your boots- bottoms of both feet raw from the blisters long since ripped open, and peel off your dirty old socks to discover several toenails on both feet have came off from the non stop march?

Ever have 24 hour duty? How about '24' that actually lasts 25, 26, 27, 28?

Summers off and a pension for school workers and still they don't appreciate or understand discrepancy? A couple hundred dollar tax benefit after what we did for you? (you being the entire country).... you have no idea...


Oh my, I’m so sorry josh. No, most of us have no idea what that’s like. I just know that no matter what goes on in this country I’m very grateful I won the birth lottery and have all those things you mentioned and more. May you lose some of the heat and sting of those horrible memories and peace be with you and your family.


Kinda have to agree with jerseywolf. These people who work for Htown school system they are getting a gift. I've learned single handed that if ur child in the regular system needs help they r useless. I have a child that is special needs with walking crutches and was told to call warren county special services. My child is very smart and attentive has no brain or thinking problems its just walking. They had no clue what to do
It's so sad. Our taxes are gonna make a lot of people who own homes here leave. Quite frankly they don't go out of there way for anyone. In the past 4 years the school system has gone way down. I've had other kids there but year by year they get worse. It really should be a juvenile jail. I guess I suppose the mayor and associates should b there as well.

Being myself Being myself
6 days ago

Fortunately I have moved out of the district and couldn't b happier. And just wanted to say to jerseywolf as far as the sports are concerned by the time football season is over each parent has paid at least 300.00 to 350.00 on all the stuff the program wants. So i would think that wouldnt affect the taxes. But i guess it does.

Being myself Being myself
6 days ago

RAS- I am sorry for what will probably be conceived as a rant.

I am aware that it is pretty much impossible for people to even remotely understand unless they lived it.

I am proud of my service.

I am unfortunately ashamed of what many of our population have become and take for granted.


Josh thank you for your service
That is truly meant. I have family members that have fought for our freedom. I cant say first handed I know what u go through but I've seen my family members suffer after combat. God be with u and thank u for ur honor of our country.

Being myself Being myself
6 days ago

I gotta say between the ignorance and the hatred and negativity on these boards, it's discouraging to think that so many people walk around blindly filled with resentment and misinformation. My prescription is to get your news from multiple sources...not just one channel (left or right).

Guess what?
Teachers are the the only people between kids who have parents that are ill equipped to raise them turning into adults that we really don't want as neighbors. They work harder for less and get no respect due the agenda of others who want us to resent them instead of who we should really be angry at.

Instead of resenting what teachers make why not turn your attention to the 1% who are bankrupting this country in order to fill their pockets even more so with this tax plan that gives the 1% a lot more than the few thousand dollars a year we are getting in the way of reductions.

Those reductions are DEBT that the USA will owe to the CHINESE. Thanks but no thanks.

Have you driven through Mendham lately? Guess who is going to get a LOT more $$$ thanks to the tax plan?

grumpyoldgit grumpyoldgit
5 days ago

I think it's quite possible to respect teachers, yet also believe that they are overpaid. There are overpaid people in many different occupations, both government and corporate.

Simply put, if a teacher is making $80K a year, yet another person could and would do the same job, just as well, for $60K a year, than the teacher is overpaid.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
5 days ago

SD for what they do yes that is a lot of money.

Metsman Metsman
5 days ago

I could see paying a math teacher who has been around for awhile that kind of money, but a librarian and spanish teacher? Give me a break... And I hate to break it to you SD but if you had a couple each making $80K in NJ, they're living pretty well.

Metsman Metsman
5 days ago

JerseyWolf, Just one question and not picking just trying to make sense of your comment. Are you saying all teachers salaries should be capped at $60,000? Regardless of longevity? Even if a teacher works 30 years? If so then should any public servants salaries be capped at same? Or anyone who does the same job/position for many years? Why pay more and give raises if there is someone else out there willing to do a job for less? I'm not in the teaching profession but it doesn't seem fair to me unless all positions in all professions are capped unless that person picks up more duties or hours. If that's the case all rules should be changed to where each prospective employee was told prior to hiring that there is a cap so they do not expect more down the road...in all professions?

Grascal
5 days ago

So teachers are only worth 60k a year in somebodies mind.

At 80k a year, nj has one of if not THE BEST school systems MAGA. We’ve been on top for years

Do I hear a thank you? You should kiss their overpaid ass

Other systems, lots of them, pay 80k.

What do you expect to get for your 60k? An improvement in education? Or do you even care about quality?

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
5 days ago

so one person who teaches math is worth more than others who teach other subjects? geeze - what was I worth - I only taught prek or kg kids over 44 years- with ba ma and another 30 credits - and annual staff development --
there are so many crap requirements now for teachers - that have nothing to do with teaching - that more and more seasoned teachers are having a harder and harder time dealing with the crap instead of their real passion - TEACHING - and the crap is going to cause less people to want to go into the field- some of you ought to go sub for a week or two and then spew your misinformation and bias

4catmom 4catmom
5 days ago

Agree with most of that grumpyoldgit, especially that the 1% issue should be dealt with first, but also agree with jerseywolf about competitive salaries vs salary-by-mandate.

Also, part of the problem imo are the requirements needed to become certified as a teacher simply to get the job. For the older generation, think back to your school days and ask yourself if the education you received was enough to make it in life (use the scope of our entire country as a guide post as to our collective educational successes), then compare teaching requirements then vs now. Big changes from what I can see, and the higher education requirements (master’s degrees for instance) are readily used to justify the higher salaries. So the real question is whether or not the requirements justifying the higher salaries today do result in increased student performance or can someone with less formal education (as was the case for previous generations) do the job just as well? I don’t know the answer, but sure someone has done studies about it.

Then there’s the whole “choice” thing, which is the primary driver for this discussion imo. Since the majority of us don’t have the choice to put our kids into a competing environment that means we more or less just have to take what we’re given. Sometimes (ok, a lot of the time lol) that creates an environment like this.

Justintime Justintime
5 days ago

I only offered an example in basic economics. It doesn't matter what the numbers actually are. The job is worth what people are willing to do the job for, to the standards required. You don't pay more than that, just because of union rules or state guidelines or friends in high places. You don't pay more, just because somebody has been doing the job a long time. You don't pay more, just because somebody has several different college degrees. And that doesn't refer to only teachers--it should apply to any government position. (And, of course, none of that even touches upon the ridiculous injustice of government pensions, which should have been phased out decades ago.)

Sometimes, it can be worth paying more than that minimum, but it should be for the right reasons. You don't pay somebody more, just because they've been in the position for years--but you might pay them more, because they are a known quality, the act of replacing them would cost administrative time and money, because they have become better at their job, and/or to improve morale and attract better employees.

But keep in mind that this assumes the same quality of work. If, for example, Teacher A is able to teach children to understand and retain information than Teacher B, but Teacher B is willing to do the job for less money, then it is an administrative decision, as to whether it's more practical and more feasible to pay more money for a better teacher.

And so, it all boils down to one simple question: Can the government realistically provide an adequate education for children, even if they offer slightly lower salaries to teachers?

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
5 days ago

80k is nothing. It used to be DOUBLE in total compensation -- 160k before my man Christie made teachers contribute to their medical. Probably more like 150k now.

My company cannot be alone in giving annual raises and bonuses with ALL costs -- medical, 401k, etc. So, you get a lot of figures but there is a new total compensation number and a new total compensation number. We have an unenforced target of 10% of the staff to be rating at below expectations which means 0% raise and 0% bonus -- kind of a wake up call to shape up or you might get shipped out within 6 months.

I understand there will always be differences between the private and public sector but they must be minimized.


No, JW, it doesn't work that way. First, yes, you do pay according to Union contracts and state regulations. Sorry.

Meanwhile.....if you're question is can you pay less than what someone is making, yes, sure, why not. As long as you are abiding by your contracts and your regulations.

But you brought up the 80K and now are re-casting this as pay-them-less-if-you-can. That's a Captain Obvious moment, isn't it?

So, you got your wish. Avg nj teacher salaries fall under 80K: New Jersey starting average $48,631, NJ average teacher salary $68,797

Of course if you lower it like you have suggested but now say the numbers don't matter, you get.......Michigan and Pennsylvania ----> rated number 42 and 33 in the national rankings for public education. You see the trade-off? Number 2 for your dollar or number 33+ to save some money.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/education

My point is not whether salary reductions might be made and quality remains at parity or improves; my point is that's not necessarily so and unless you have a plan for lowering salaries while maintaining quality ----- let's here that.

MA and NJ trade the top spot in public education: MA pays starting avg $40,600 and avg salary of $72,334. Hey, we need to give a raise :>) NH is the other state we trade top spots with: they pay starting at $34,280 with an avg of $55,599 -- but no big cities. And the next two CT: $42,924, $69,397 and MD: $43,235, $64,248.

Methinks we seem to be getting what we pay for and thoughts that we can wave a magic wand and pay less really is non-factual given the good teachers will just leave since there are plenty of places to make NJ dollars and you will be left with what you deserve ---- a cheap date.

Yes, facts can be your friends.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
5 days ago

Just a guess...... most posters here are against raising the minimum wage? Why pay more when you can fill the jobs at $8.50/hr? Why pay YOU what you're getting when someone else will do it for less? .....by the way that applies to EVERYONE not just teachers, cps etc........ then of course someone brings up the top 1%. Don't you realize that as we eat each other and even think about squeezing salaries down, that that puts the despised 1% further ahead?

More of a share for all...teachers etc and Metsman, JW, JIT.

GOG- you hit it on the head.

twentytwenty
5 days ago

There are ways to get more money from the top 1%--and to prevent them from making so much more money. But over-paying government employees doesn't hurt the wealthy much--it hurts the middle class, the people who really can't afford it.

The top 1% can afford to pay New Jersey's high property taxes. It's the average citizen who is being squeezed to the point of moving out of state.

And, yes, I am against a high minimum wage. I AM in favor of creating more jobs, which creates more competition, which ultimately leads to increased wages and opportunities.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
5 days ago

Oh, and strangerdanger, here's a basic fact of logic: correlation does not necessarily equal causation. Your entire argument rests on the assumptions that NJ really does have overall high-quality education, and that the reason for that quality education is high wages.

In fact, you are relying upon are certain standardized test scores, not upon such things as study of the arts, overall happiness and well-being of students, practical skills, etc. Correlation does not always equal causation.

You're also not taking into account other possible factors. For example, NJ is, by comparison, a wealthy state. Perhaps that wealth allows parents to raise their children better than other states, so the kids to better in school, regardless of the teachers.

You also offered no actual facts to support your argument that ultimately lowering compensation for teachers (in any of a number of ways) would lead to quality teachers leaving the profession and no quality teachers replacing them. In fact, most Americans would spend their days shoveling horse manure, if it paid $100 an hour. And if you suddenly started paying only $95 an hour, you would still have to hire a clerical staff, just to handle the massive volume of job resumes.

You are, however, entire correct about one thing: Facts CAN be your friends.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
5 days ago

"Why pay more when you can fill the jobs at $8.50/hr? " Actually, as I pointed out on the snap thread, you do pay more when they fill jobs at minimum wage. That's where a lot of the snap dollars go ----- to bring minimum wage makers closer to the poverty level. To the point that we "subsidized" with taxpayer dollars, every MikeyD burger, every single item you buy at Walmart.

Many HLer's bemoan the SNAPper with their fancy cars, sneakers, and tvs, but keep sucking it up at the government trough whenever they shop fast food or minimum wage retail like Walmart. I think we subsidize Walmart workers at $6B a year, McD's for a couple of billion. Heck McD's even has an employee SNAP hotline to help folks sign up. Saves on burger theft :>(

It's between $100 to $200B a year in welfare subsidies to minimum wage workers and this doesn't even begin to count the agro subsidies lowering your fast food prices.

We are all scofflaws in this not accepting the bill for what we buy.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
5 days ago

Finally you are talking your strength: manure. Reminds of that old one: she was only the stableman's daughter, but all the horse men knew her.

Of course another Captain Obvious moment with "correlation does not necessarily equal causation."

To repeat myself: "My point is not whether salary reductions might be made and quality remains at parity or improves; my point is that's not necessarily so and unless you have a plan for lowering salaries while maintaining quality ----- let's here that."

not necessarily so, etc. If you read carefully, I think you will see a lot of correlation, caveats, but not statements of causation. Pretty sure I was careful.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
5 days ago

SD living in illusion again, if you were 2 or 3x younger you might actually be a threat to society. Transition to 401Ks and cancel retiree medical. Homeowners are bleeding, this is the only way to make an impact. As Christie said, the have-nots paying for the haves.


Educational costs?
It's the cost of their health benefit while working ( for which they contribute very little) and the LIFETIME HEALTH COVERAGE upon RETIREMENT


I'm a teacher in a wealthy school district. I make 6 figures, have a 5 dollar copay at the doctor, have tenure, teach children that actually want to learn, and sit by my pool all summer long. Life is grand.

Goeagles
5 days ago

Now we are getting it. Fleecing of the taxpayer is what we are talking about. Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for anything that has total compensation above the private sector.


"Now we are getting it. Fleecing of the taxpayer is what we are talking about."

After reading the opinions of many in this thread, I could care less. Actually, I'm enjoying it.

Goeagles
5 days ago

You could care less? Then the logical inference is that you are an insider enjoying the overcompensation at the taxpayer expense, or someone in your inner circle.


"Goeagles"

I am going to go out on a limb and say you are also a utter liar, or a troll...one of the two, probably both

the 5 dollar copay was a dead give away, teachers for the most part all have the same NJ health insurance through blue cross blue shield.....and the copay is not $5

Unless of course you work at a private school....but you wouldn't care to clarify where you work now would you??? Because that would disrupt the emotional hit and point of your made up post....now woulden't it....


"enjoying the overcompensation at the taxpayer expense"

I charge and get 100 dollars per hour for private tutoring. You do the math.

I stand corrected, Darrin. It's 10 dollars. I opted for the best plan. Why not? As an aside, I did consider the NJDirect15 plan but decided against it. A nice catch but ultimately you're wrong.

Private school teachers make peanuts. I wouldn't waste my time.

Goeagles
5 days ago

Direct 10 here too - note teachers are definitely paying into their plans now - and the pension formula was changed about 6 years ago - no not in favor of the teachers - the gravy train is not as juicy as it used to be (your way of thinking)

4catmom 4catmom
5 days ago

goeagles!!!!! You deserve it!!!

twentytwenty
5 days ago

Teachers, police officers, other state employee pay is listed at data universe, link below.

Some teachers and school staff nearby make 6 figures, many very close to that amount. $10 copay for doctors visits and $5 copay for prescriptions is a reality in at least one local district, that I know for a fact. Those employees do pay for part of their prescription plan. Still a good deal for what they get, better than most private insurance.

Darrin, as far as your wife's pay, I believe you totally. Pay varies GREATLY district to district, and even employee vs employee in the same district based on years of service, previous military service (you get credit for that) and your college degree level (eg: masters+30 vs bachelors), difference can be substantial. Also some districts AVOID like the plague to allow anyone to tenure, they get a reputation for firing after 2 years.


In the right place at the right time, you are golden. The typical millionaire in NJ is a teacher and a cop. Good salaries, good health insurance, good pension, save and invest and that combo is a guaranteed win-win.





http://php.app.com/agent/

Dodgeball Dodgeball
5 days ago

Still waiting to hear what district......

My wife makes no where near what you make, teaches low function special education in a large district, pays 5% of her salary towards benefits, which does NOT include dental and vision.....

And yeah, she spends her summer volunteering for autism awareness.....NOT sitting by pools gloating about her pay

$100 per hour for private tutoring???? Grade school??? how do parents afford you?

It's teachers like you that give the hard working under paid teachers a bad name, making it so hard for aspiring teachers to get jobs.

I am all for defending teachers and the teachers union...but NOT for teachers like you....


And for the seniors,
So many people complain that they don't want socialized medicine, yet that is basically what Medicare is. Try and take that away from a senior citizen and you will start a war.

OTOH, it is headed towards insolvency along with Social Security. The age to enroll in Social Security keeps going up. Reports vary, but it is currently expected to be insolvent in 17 years. Yet a pimple faced kid working at Mc Donalds is paying into a system to support grandpa and grandma, yet will not be able to collect when his time comes. Sounds like a raw deal for the younger generation. Look also at home prices, for example, in 1960, one could buy a house in Levittown, NY for 10k, brand new. Ok, it's built to 1060's standards, has asbestos, etc, but hey, it's a new home. Account for inflation using a calculator, that 10 k is worth 83k today- you could not buy the land under that house today for 83k, so grandpa and grandma did ok in their investment when they sell that house today for 350k and it still looks inside like it did when Eisenhower was president. Links provided.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/social-security-trust-fund-will-depleted-17-years-according-trustees-report10 k in

https://www.saving.org/inflation/inflation.php?amount=10,000&year=1960

Dodgeball Dodgeball
5 days ago

Your point?


Darrin,

Where were you when all the people in this thread were bashing your wife and family members' profession? Nothing but silence. At least I spoke up and defended teaching. These people on here aren't going to be convinced so I just rub it in. Perhaps more people connected to teaching should push back.

That's great that your wife does all that. Considering how hard she works, I'm sure she doesn't like it when people want to cut her pay and benefits because they think she works a part time job. I work in a district that pays well and teach high functioning honors students. I don't work hard during the school year? I didn't work hard to make it to a top notch district?

I make it difficult for people to get jobs? There are lots of teaching jobs. Paterson is begging for teachers.

I'd hate to break it to you but this is America. Nothing is free. I know my subject very well and have the degrees to prove it. It's AP level work not grade school. I shouldn't be compensated for my services? My electric bill from running the pool filter all summer is outrageous.

Goeagles
5 days ago

"These people on here aren't going to be convinced so I just rub it in"

IMHO that is no way to go about it, it just infuriates people even further and just plain makes teachers look bad.

I have been involved with teacher threads in the past, it never goes well, but when I see a teacher gloating, meanwhile I know how hard my wife, as well as many other have worked just to get a job, let alone keep it...it really irks me.

Patterson..,...yeah, my wife student taught there, was involved in a hit and run as well as a attempted car jacking......I told her I would rather her sit at home then work there.


Darrin ---- Private sessions can go up to $120 an hour in our area depending on the type of instruction. The price is higher in places like New York. I don't know why you think people can't afford it. You obviously don't know what you are talking about.

happiest girl
5 days ago

"IMHO that is no way to go about it, it just infuriates people even further and just plain makes teachers look bad."

Good. I don't care. They will never be convinced and politically nothing is going to change in their favor so I'm going to enjoy it. You have your tactics, I have mine. I think you may acknowledge that playing nice doesn't work.

"but when I see a teacher gloating, meanwhile I know how hard my wife, as well as many other have worked just to get a job, let alone keep it...it really irks me."

You are making assumptions about my career. You don't know what I endured to get this job or to maintain it but I'm happy to see any teacher succeed. As a colleague, I hope she does well. But my position in a district very far from here has little to do with your wife's job prospects.

"Patterson..,...yeah, my wife student taught there, was involved in a hit and run as well as a attempted car jacking......I told her I would rather her sit at home then work there."

That's your prerogative. Don't blame me for a lack of jobs in decent districts. Nobody's stopping her from sending her resume elsewhere.

Enjoy the snow.

Goeagles
5 days ago

Don't compare a private teacher for AP courses with say a gym teacher or janitor or social studies teacher etc. BTW, I am never against someone making money in the private arena, people are paying without a gun-to-the-head. Heck, there would be no Zuckerberg Facebook if his papa didn't pay a programmer to teach his son while in high school.

Like I always said, I am not against the profession. I am against excessive total compensation of public workers; which is based upon fact and all of you know it.


HG, as usual your insults fly like a loose cannon for no reason as opposed to just sharing information like an adult, or guiding the misinformed...like a adult.....maybe you could use some tutoring in the world of how to talk to people with respect......and, what I do PERSONALLY know is that some teachers tutor for free, or for gas money for the well being of the student....not all are looking to make a buck off people's misfortune of a struggling student.

But with that being said, as Goeagles pointed out, there is a difference between teacher ethic between special education as I am familiar with struggling students as compared to the gifted AP honors students goeagles is teaching.

Goeagles, I am not making any assumptions about your career, I am calling you out for how you are selling yourself as having it oh so easy (as you have stated it is a ploy to toy with people). Like I said, anyone that personally knows a teacher knows the struggles, do what you want, present yourself as you may, but when a teacher is on a open forum saying how easy they have it, they are going to be questioned by people who know that is not the case.

"That's your prerogative" what to not allow my wife to get killed trying to follow her career.....yeah I guess it is my prerogative.

I understand you have your tactics, and I couldn't agree more that people won't be convinced regardless, that's why I have just stayed out of discussions, as opposed to making the discussions worse for people who "do actually care" but I am still wondering what your tactics are accomplishing other then trolling the page pissing people off?


Darrin,

I understand your point. It just amazes me how people on this forum casually bash teachers. They are shameless. We know the realities of teaching; it's not easy but I do like to toy with the ignorant.

I tutor students that want a leg up on the competition. My point in mentioning that was to prove that the market is willing to pay.

Goeagles
4 days ago

I agree with you, I just choose not to toy with the very people that are for teacher cuts, because I know how hard it was for my wife as well as 100's of others behind her to get a job because of the teacher cuts already occurring, so why piss them off more, essentially proving their point that tenure is a bad thing?

My wife deals with less fortunate students, many of the family's have spent so much on doctors bills they can't afford tutoring. Sure the market is willing to pay, but my wife would rather not get paid and help the less fortunate.


I suppose its easier to come on a forum like this and bash teachers, police and other public workers then it is to confront the politicians that take pension money to offset out of control spending and make themselves look good. Its easier than demanding health insurance companies that charge excessive amounts for premiums or drug companies charging hundreds of dollars for medicines that cost pennies to make. As long the attention is deflected from the real cause than this over taxing will continue.

Boobalaa Boobalaa
4 days ago

You still don't get, there is overcompensation occurring. Goeagles is an edge condition likely a STEM teacher to assist those willing to pay for better scores; this is by no means par for teachers. For example, how much is a Social Studies teacher going to make in the open market per hour? What is a gym teacher going to make over the Summer, $20 per hour, if they are lucky? Sorry for the brash talk but the taxpayer should not be on the hook for overpayments, whether they are due to road construction or teacher, firefighter, police officers.


"I just choose not to toy with the very people that are for teacher cuts, because I know how hard it was for my wife as well as 100's of others behind her to get a job because of the teacher cuts already occurring, so why piss them off more, essentially proving their point that tenure is a bad thing?"

Why am I going to grovel? Many jobs have perks. Want tenure? Go into education. Want to make a lot of money? Go into finance.

The reality is that the people on this forum have no power because they already vote for Republicans in safe legislative districts. They talk a good game and love to complain but when push comes to shove, they're not running for state assembly or state senate, flipping districts, and creating change. Chris Christie was a threat but in the end, he changed very little.

"Sure the market is willing to pay, but my wife would rather not get paid and help the less fortunate."

My statement was meant for all the Ayn Rand types out there. I wasn't trying to gloat. If your wife chooses to volunteer her time and skills, good for her. Teachers go above and beyond every day. Look at how much goodwill it's getting them.

Goeagles
4 days ago

For some it's not about the goodwill, it's about knowing you helped a child. My wife blocks out all those outside nay sayers and never lets it bother her, she does what she knows is right and that is helping the children forget everything else.


Boo...

You're right. That should be the focus. Also, the lack of state aid to "the clean 525".

twentytwenty
4 days ago

"does what she knows is right...helping the children"

The mortgage company doesn't accept that as currency and like every other profession, I provide a service that does good and receive payment in return. Teachers don't need to be martyrs.

Goeagles
4 days ago

"For example, how much is a Social Studies teacher going to make in the open market per hour?"

I teach Social Studies.

"Sorry for the brash talk"

I appreciate the cordiality.

Goeagles
4 days ago

The reality is that the people on this forum have no power because they already vote for Republicans in safe legislative districts. They talk a good game and love to complain but when push comes to shove, they're not running for state assembly or state senate, flipping districts, and creating change. Chris Christie was a threat but in the end, he changed very little.

Spot On!

pampurr pampurr
4 days ago

Right.

*Public* schools are inherently political since they are funded through a constant threat of force against the citizenship (aka taxation) ;-)

Justintime Justintime
3 days ago

Put that guy on an island. It's the only way he can be happy. He won't answer no stinkin bell.

"'No man is an iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee....'

John Donne -- 1624 Meditation 17, from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions

That's 1624 JIT..... :>)

strangerdanger strangerdanger
3 days ago

The numbers are vastly different, depending on who is doing the calculation. One thing is in common, the letter "B" at the end of the debt.

"B" is a lot of money to owe. "M" is also quite a bit, but not like "B." It's a whole different category, and it's a number that if not addressed will be harmful for generations to come in NJ, but hey, I got mine so screw the younger generation, let them pay for it. Question is, are they going to be able to? The credit card has been charged-how do we pay the bill, or better yet who can we get to pay the bill for us.
No one mentions returning any of the items back to the store-that's a non-starter.

The train is coming, the NJ taxpayer is tied to the tracks. Now please look away from those lights, ignore the loud whistle, nothing to see here. Another episode of Game of Thrones is on. The Eagles won the Superbowl. There is 9" of snow on my deck. What train?


"Unfortunately, New Jersey provides a convenient case study. By some calculations, New Jersey’s unfunded liability for state and local pensions and state health benefits combined tops $178 billion, among the worst in the nation."

"N.J. pension debt soared to $49B last year"

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/02/njs_pension_deficit_reached_491_last_year.html

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/17/02/22/opinion-the-coming-federalization-of-nj-pension-and-benefits-crisis/

Dodgeball Dodgeball
3 days ago

Finny how some folks can’t (or refuse to) understand basic human motivation, not even their own lol.

Btw, the wink means it was a friendly reminder to think about what motivates people, not as a political statement. But thank you for continuing to make my points for me through your words and actions. Very gracious of you.

Also btw, your analogy in the other thread applies to taxation as well. It’s oh so easy to get what *you* want when the funding comes from pointing that terrible tool at your neighbors head. Point. Shoot. Done

Justintime Justintime
3 days ago

Yes, no man is an island. However, this does not give carte blanche to excessively tax individuals. I guess the question is what constitutes too much, which is where we get a wide range of opinions.


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