One is what I suspect is a serious accounting error that I would like this educated readership to check me on before I go to the proper authorities (assuming any exist) and another I did not even write but public employees discouraged from participating in the SACT might find useful:
TSA RETIREMENT HEIST IN NEW JERSEY by Joel Frank
Do you have any idea how the costs associated with investing impacts the growth of your 403(b) (TSA) investment account? Consider the examples of Teachers A and B.
Assumptions: First year salary of $30,000 with annual increases of 3 percent. 10 percent of salary is invested each year. The investments are made for 40 years and earn 8 percent a year.
Teacher A invests with the State-administered 403(b) Plan called the Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust (SACT). After 40 years the account is worth $1.1 million.
Teacher B invests with one of the commission-based investment providers found on the website of the Department of Community Affairs–Division of Local Government Services. After 40 years the account is worth $700,000.
Why the massive difference in accumulations? With the SACT, Teacher A’s account is credited with the entire 8 percent return because the State pays all costs associated with maintaining the account. Teacher B, on the other hand, invested with one of the 403(b) sharks that charge about 2.2 percent a year. The 8 percent return, therefore, is reduced to 5.8 percent. The difference after 40 years of investing is $400,000.
LET’S START A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT TO COMPEL THE SACT TRUSTEES TO ESTABLISH A DIVERSIFIED INVESTMENT MENU.
For additional information and to participate in this Class Action please contact Joel Frank at 732-536-9472 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cap Bank Blunder?
The concept of the ‘Cap Bank’ is hard to understand because it’s a stupid idea and bad budgeting.
Basically it means that if you did not raise taxes as high as you possibly could in any two years you are allowed to ‘bank’ those differences and raise taxes by those additional amounts in the third year. From what I have seen in reviewing county budgets it only applies to the 1977 Cap. There is also a 2010 Cap that is calculated separately and does not use the Cap Bank concept.
Here is how it was explained at the last freeholder meeting:
and here is that ‘tax levy book’ for 2015 as obtained through an OPRA request (click the image below for a clearer view):
Are these numbers right? Look back at the 2013 and 2014 budgets and you find one number that appears very WRONG and will cost taxpayers $837,175 in excess taxes in 2015 and possibly millions more.
The two numbers to compare to see how the Cap Bank develops each year are – (A) the Allowable County Purpose Tax After All Exceptions and (B) the County Purpose Tax Levy Per Budget. Subtract (B) from (A) and you have the Cap Bank that can be utilized either next year or the year after that.
In the worksheet above those two numbers for 2013 are $317,643,215.86 (A) and $317,544,198.00 (B) and the difference between them is $99,017.86 which is banked for either 2014 or 2015. Both (A) and (B) correspond to the tax cap calculation in the 2013 budget.
For 2014 those numbers from the worksheet above are $334,631,102.80 (A) and $327,061,905.00 (B) which develops an amount Available for Banking of $7,569,197.60 that could be used in 2015 or 2016. But look at the tax cap levy cap calculation in the 2014 budget and you do not see that $334,361,102.80 number anywhere. What you do see under “1977 Cap” Maximum County Purpose Tax After All Exceptions is $327,526,317.69 which would mean that the 2014 Cap Bank should be $464,412.69.
Now look at the tax levy cap calculation in the 2015 budget and you see the full $99,017.86 Cap Bank from 2013 used and $1,301,587.78 used from the 2014 Cap Bank but the problem is that the county could only have used $464,412.69 from 2014. That means 2015 taxes are $837,175 over the maximum allowed and that 2016 taxes will be as much as $6,267,610 higher than they would otherwise be allowed to be because of the use of that phantom $334,631,103 number in 2014.