While Pascrell Leads Fight Against Romney Plan To Eliminate Property Tax Rebates For NJ Homeowners, Rothman Voted For Relief
By Mel Fabrikant Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 06:57 PM EDT
While Pascrell Leads Fight Against Romney Plan To Eliminate Property Tax Rebates For NJ Homeowners, Rothman Voted For Federal Property Tax Relief In Western States. Rothman was only Member of New Jersey Delegation to support legislation sending $1.1 billion in federal tax dollars to western states to offset low property tax base.
WASHINGTON – On the day after Tax Day, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. released the following statement regarding his fight to protect the federal property tax deduction after Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney advocated its elimination. In contrast, challenger Steve Rothman was alone amongst the New Jersey delegation in supporting legislation providing over $1 billion in property tax relief for western states.
“On the number one issue facing New Jersey’s middle class families, there has been nothing but deafening silence from Congressman Steve Rothman,” complained Pascrell. “He’s so out-of-touch that he gave property tax breaks to folks in western states like Oregon, Washington, and California. There aren’t many lumberjacks or cowboys in Garfield or Englewood or Clifton, but we could sure have used his help to fight for our fair share here while people were being taxed out of their homes. Time for him to get off his high horse and get a dose of reality,” added Pascrell. “This is why I’m not only fighting for the property tax deduction at the federal level, but a permanent property tax credit being proposed by Democrats in the state Legislature to provide meaningful relief with a 10-20 percent cut for those who need it most — our disappearing middle class.”
Pascrell continued: "Earlier this week, Mitt Romney was overheard telling a room full of big money conservative donors that he would eliminate the property tax deduction in order to pay for another round of Bush-style tax cuts for the wealthiest among us. He'll have to go through me first," said Pascrell, a Member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. "New Jersey homeowners pay the highest property taxes in the country, especially in Bergen and Passaic Counties. I'll do everything in my power to fight Mitt Romney and the Tea Party from financing their trickle down economics on the backs of middle-class New Jersey families."
According to a March 12th Monmouth University Poll, property taxes are the number one concern of New Jersey voters, and Passaic and Bergen county families pay the 1st and 4th highest percentages of their income in property taxes in the entire country, according to the Tax Foundation. From his seat on the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over the tax code, Congressman Pascrell has led the fight in the House to preserve the federal property tax deduction. In February, he introduced H.Res. 557, which calls for the deduction not to be further restricted. The resolution is supported by: the National Association of Realtors, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, National Association of Counties and the National Association of Home Builders.
While challenger Steve Rothman has stood on the sidelines in this fight against Mitt Romney and the Tea Party to help New Jersey taxpayers on their most important issue, he has actively supported property tax relief for western states from the federal government.
Rothman was the lone member of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation to vote for the deal. The 1999 legislation, H.R. 2389, was projected to cost $1.1 billion over five years.
"New Jersey only gets 61 cents back from the federal government for every dollar we send. On top of that, we pay the highest property taxes in the entire country. We simply can't afford to send our federal tax dollars to other states for their property tax relief when we need that relief here in New Jersey," said Pascrell. "Steve Rothman doesn't have his priorities straight. While I've been on the front lines fighting Mitt Romney and the Tea Party to protect this important property tax deduction for New Jersey taxpayers, this vote suggests that he's more concerned about taxpayers in the hinterlands who don’t pay as much as we do in the Garden State."
“Rothman was lone member on New Jersey Congressional delegation to vote to compensate schools in Western states because they have lower property tax bases 29 due to their proximity to federal land holdings.
Rothman was the only member of the entire New Jersey delegation to vote for HR 2389, legislation “increasing federal compensation to school districts and state and local governments, located mostly in the West, whose property tax base is diminished by Bureau of Land Management and National Forest Service holdings.” The legislation was “without measures to offset a projected cost of $1.1 billion over five years. For each of the next seven years, schools and other units of governments would get payments equal to their highest three-year average payment between 1985-99. The program is funded by revenue generated on public lands, such as timbering receipts.“ (Star Ledger, 11/7/99; House Roll #560, 11/3/99,
274 Y, 153 N, Rothman Y / Pascrell N)