NJ COLA Orals (6) Unequivocal Intent & Sovereign Power

When the umpire’s in your pocket throw anything up there and it’s going to be called a strike.

Anonymous

It was the Debt Limitation and Appropriations clauses of the state constitution that a judge agreed in 2012 would allow cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAa) to be suspended for New Jersey public retirees.  In 2014 an Appeals court disagreed and COLAs are back pending a decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court that should come next month.

However in their argument this time the state did not revisit the Debt Limitation and Appropriations clauses.  Rather it threw out:



.
Which to a non-lawyer in the stands like me looks like:
.

.

The question is whether a majority of the NJ Supreme Court will see the state’s pitch as a strike.

23 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dentss dunnigan on March 17, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    WOW this must hurt …David Tepper moves to Florida: Business community not surprised Jersey’s wealthiest resident has left state will save over 100million in state taxes .Like I’ve said those that can leave …do …..http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-16/tepper-s-most-profitable-2015-trade-may-be-miami-for-short-hills

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 17, 2016 at 5:20 pm

      Nah, Just ask BH, The Nutcase, SMD, Now Retired Pat, and all the Anonymous-commentator Public Sector workers ….. “not too worry”, we’ll make up for THAT loss by sucking MORE taxes out of those who stay.

      Keep dreaming !

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on March 17, 2016 at 6:48 pm

        As long as TL stays in New Jersey we have no problems she’s got tons of cash

        Reply

      • Posted by Now retired Pat on March 17, 2016 at 9:12 pm

        3rd check cleared. (Yeah!). Next up? constitutional amendment to pay the actuarial value. People are honest and accept the realities. Everyone has a grandma on a fixed income. It will pass… My checks will continue. Urban schools will get less, the homeless will get less, the rich will pay more, the lottery will give 75% to the pensioneers, Estate tax (should/will) rise… LEAVE ME ALONIE!!

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 17, 2016 at 11:13 pm

          Not much of a “plan” for retirement …….. a wish and a prayer.

          Maybe if you were 80, but not when you’re only 53. NJ’s Pension & benefit Plans will be dead & buried LONG before you meet your maker..

          Reply

          • Posted by dentss dunnigan on March 18, 2016 at 9:26 am

            Yep higher taxes on the rich….another Fail..just speeds up the exodus of those that can leave but as Corzine would say if tax revenues are falling lets just raise taxes …..of course he headed for the exit as soon as he could ..

          • Posted by Anonymous on March 18, 2016 at 10:11 am

            At least she wishing you a long, (and happy?, not sure but I hope so) life Pat.
            Lol. I wish you were my neighbor TL, you must be a blast at bbq’s, block parties, etc.
            She may be boring, but she is nicer than many on this blog. And outside of calling us greedy aometimes, she refrains from having the dialog be reduced to hateful name calling. TL, I disagree with most of what you say, not all but most, but I think you are a fundamentally good human being. Peace out.

          • He might make it to age 60. After that it is Wal-Mart or Mickey D’s.

    • Posted by Smooth Moderation Difficult on March 17, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      “Tax planning was a factor but not the main reason for Tepper’s decision to move, according to a person familiar with the situation. Family and quality-of-life considerations carried much more weight, as Tepper had recently separated from his wife in New Jersey and his mother and sister both live in Florida, said the person, asking for anonymity to discuss the billionaire’s personal affairs.”

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 17, 2016 at 6:12 pm

        And from that SAME article that you quoted from…..
        ————————————–
        “The move could save Tepper hundreds of millions of dollars in state taxes several years from now. Florida has been pitching itself as a warm-weather tax haven to hedge fund managers in the Northeast, some of whom face a 2017 deadline to pay taxes on billions of dollars in performance fees that they had kept offshore for years. A Florida residence could offer partial relief to New York and New Jersey money managers who face the prospect of surrendering at least half of the deferred money to federal, state and local taxes.

        “Anyone who has a large deferral coming due in 2017” is thinking about ways of reducing the tax hit, said Anthony Tuths, a tax attorney in the New York office of Withum who advises alternative investment funds. “What is easier than packing up your house in New York City and moving down to Miami?””
        ——————————
        SMD, always “smoothing” ….. nothing to see here folks (i.e., Taxpayers), we’re not ripping you off ….. TOO MUCH.

        Reply

        • Posted by dentss dunnigan on March 17, 2016 at 6:23 pm

          It does make sense now as to why the state is trying to make the estate tax less burdensome …they must gotten wind of this a while ago and tried to throw him a bone …plus they do realize so many people of wealth to protect refuse to let their estate be pilfered by the state .I believe they are in a panic about the exit of money from the state …..I’ve never seen this state cut a tax without replacing it 5 fold .

          Reply

  2. Posted by Eric on March 17, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    John:
    All that is missing in this presentation by the AG is the Reichstag fire.
    Seig Heil NJ Supreme Court!
    Eric

    Reply

  3. Posted by MJ on March 17, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    So are the COLAs being reinstated or not based on the arguments?

    Reply

  4. Posted by Jim on March 18, 2016 at 12:40 am

    A little off topic but I just have to add: When Chairwoman Scanlon voted unanimously with the Union County Freeholder board to approve 100% free LIFETIME healthcare for 473 county employees and their families, I asked her what was the anticipated cost to the taxpayers? Her response: ” I don’t know- math was not one of my better subjects”. She was the elected leader of a half million constituents and she gleely professed her lack of basic math skills! Or was that contempt? I guess what I am saying is: This boat of unsustainable promises (obscene government employee entitlements/salaries and pensions not seen in the private sector in decades) was built plank by plank by the greedy politicians looking to secure their jobs and pensions AND taxpayers that did not hold their feet to the fire early on- only to now be surprised that the boat that was built doesn’t float. Who is to blame- there is equal amounts to go around. I fought the fight with the Union County Watchdog Association for over 5 years to shine a light on these abuses. When I finally realized that the fight was futile, I threw in the towel and left NJ. Now with the amount of taxes I save by not feeding this hungry insatiable corrupt system I can live a comfortable life and travel around the world first class every year. I have NO pension, just savings from years of hard work and fiscally responsible business decisions from the private sector business that I ran for 35 years. Now NJ taxpayers are being asked to shoulder the blame for this mess by voting a constitutional amendment that will make it look like the taxpayers are the villains by “depriving” the bloated pensions to current, soon to retire, and retired government employees- isn’t that just sweet. The fiscal boat is leaking, badly, and now it is beyond fixing. Wake up NJ taxpayers- your civic duty goes way beyond just pulling a lever in a voting booth every November.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 18, 2016 at 12:54 am

      Quiting Jim ……….. “This boat of unsustainable promises (obscene government employee entitlements/salaries and pensions not seen in the private sector in decades) was built plank by plank by the greedy politicians looking to secure their jobs and pensions AND taxpayers that did not hold their feet to the fire early on- only to now be surprised that the boat that was built doesn’t float. ”

      How PERFECTLY stated …..hope you don’t mind if I repeat that periodically.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 18, 2016 at 12:58 am

        And MORE (also PERFECTLY stated) ……

        “Now NJ taxpayers are being asked to shoulder the blame for this mess by voting a constitutional amendment that will make it look like the taxpayers are the villains by “depriving” the bloated pensions to current, soon to retire, and retired government employees- isn’t that just sweet. “

        Reply

  5. Posted by MJ on March 18, 2016 at 9:49 am

    I will state again, although people may not be leaving NJ physically at this time, anyone with resources is taking their money elsewhere to invest and planning their exit if they have not left already. Much better bang for the buck in FL, SC for real estate, taxes, etc. and trust me, MONEY is always a consideration for any major life decison for those who have resources to protect.

    Reply

  6. […] « NJ COLA Orals (6) Unequivocal Intent & Sovereign Power […]

    Reply

  7. Posted by MJ on March 18, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Its always about the money and resources and any body with half a brain and resources to protect is NOT investing in NJ….moving physically or taking their resources elsewhere in a better tax situation

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 18, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      Karma would be for NJ’s Public Sector retirees who were granted WAY more than a reasonable or “fair” amount in pension & benefits, and them MOVE AWAY so as to NOT be subject to NJ’s high taxes (to pay for it) see their pension checks cut in half, and the retiree healthcare subsidy end.

      Reply

  8. Posted by Mike on March 20, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    One good measure of the “BS Index” of an argument is whether a 180-degree opposite position could be staked out using the same logic. How about “Your honor the State might have a point in ordinary circumstances. But here we are discussing taking away benefits that aged former public servants rely upon. Surely the legislative intent to permit a change by future legislation must be unequivocal, or else such a change can not be permitted.”

    I think the State’s argument scores 100% on the BS Index. Which is too bad, in a way, because if this State position is rejected, the Plan will go bust that much sooner.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 20, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      Being undeniably unaffordable, these Plans NEED to end …. especially the crediting of ANY future service pension accruals.

      Reply

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