Sunday, February 05, 2006

Saving tax dollars

DynamoBuzz notes that state Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts has put out a request for ideas on how to save tax dollars. The link will take you to a web form where you can share your thoughts.
Here were my suggestions for the Speaker:

1) Reduce state headcount by 25%. Patronage jobs must go.
2) Ignore the Supreme Court's funding dictates on schools - it is the legislature's job to decide on spending priorities.
3) Kill the Schools Construction Corp. Adding a middleman into the process of buying school property and buildings is an absolute waste. Staffing it with political cronies is a crime.
4) Get out of the research business. If you want research to be done in the state, lower the tax burden on the average scientific worker.
5) Require state workers to pay a portion of their health care premiums. Mine cost me 1.7% of my base pay, plus a $20 co pay for each visit. Wouldn't it be reasonable to require some financial commitment from our employees as well?
6) Stop promising new workers the same deal that older workers have. Transition the retirement system to a defined contribution plan.

Thanks for listening. I look forward to seeing your committee debate these and the many other suggestions you will receive. It'd be nice to see them tallied and posted on this site.

Like Roberto, I'm skeptical about the probability that these suggestions will be heard and debated, much less implemented. I'll be watching, though, and will also forward these suggestions to my assembly delegation and senator.

Tags: New Jersey, Taxes, State Budget, New Jersey Politics