Big story: it’s hot. Evil hot. Be careful out there.
- Gov. Corzine announced plans to study the closing of 25 state hospitals in order to strengthen services and save tax money. Last year, nearly half the stateâ€™s hospitals lost money; the rest had profits of 1%. Meanwhile, a Department of Health and Senior Services task force is urging NJ hospitals to increase their surveilance of antibiotic-resistant microbes and to improve their infection-control practices.
- Another plan being considered by the Governor is allowing municipalities to levy their own sales taxes, as is permitted in PA and NY.
- Local contributions to pension plans will be skyrocketing, with an increase of a total of $267 million for local governments to contribute. Municipalities are warning that it could lead to reduced services and- you guessed it- higher property taxes.
- The members of the bi-partisan, bi-cameral committees considering property tax reform were announced yesterday. Complete lists here.
- Sen. Menendez has proposed a $500 property tax deduction ($1000 filing jointly) even if homeowners don’t itemize on federal taxes. Menendez states it would bring direct relief to residents of Our Fair State; Republicans are calling it an election-year ploy.
- The Republicans have big plans for your property taxes: cut them by $3000! ‘Course, the article is clear that “Republicans did not mention a timetable or specifics…” but they want to cut spending and benefits and some other vauge stuff. Sometimes, it’s really easy to be in the minority party, isn’t it?
- FEMA is closing its Trenton and Warren County disaster recovery centers. (The Hunterdon County office closed last week.) The centers opened in mid-July after the recent flooding of the Delaware. Residents who still need FEMA assistance are urged to use their web site or to call for assistance by Sept. 5th.
- Flags in Our Fair State are being flown at half-staff today in honor of Army Staff Sgt. Robert Joseph Chiomento II, 34, who was killed in action July 17 in Afghanistan. Chiomento graduated from Pemberton Twp. High School; his family lives in Salem County.
Open Thread: What’s on your mind, Blue Jersey?