Archive for the ‘Budgets’ Category

NJ Pension COLA Dilemma

The nj101.5 article took from this week’s Senate hearing on the budget that:

Unless lawmakers bring back cost-of-living adjustments to public employee pensions sooner, it will be roughly a decade for local workers and two decades for state workers before their retirement checks get yearly increases to account for inflation.

I took from it that COLAs are never coming back based on this heckle:

More video excerpts starting with the shock of NJ pensioners having to wait so long for COLAs:

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Sad State of NJ Budget

Three lines in today’s 2023 Budget Address that touch on public pensions.

And we were told we’d certainly never meet our public-employee pension obligations. Not only did we do that last year — marking the first time in a generation that our full obligation was met — we’re doing it again in this year’s budget with a $6.8 billion payment.


With more aid for our public schools and a full pension payment, this budget will continue to apply downward pressure against property taxes.

Not a heavy lift to make a $6.8 billion pension payment (a little less than than the $6.9 billion for FY22) when you borrow $4 billion and get another $10 billion in federal aid. In looking over the FY23 Budget in Brief here are some notable excerpts:

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Municipal Budgets 2021 (4) Pension Contributions

Over at countywatchers I have a series comparing 2021 budget items for the municipalities in Union County and part 4 relates to this blog so here it is.

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Local NJ Pension Hikes

Annual pension contributions for 2022 from local employers in New Jersey for the PERS and PFRS plans (due to be paid April 1, 2022) finally appeared on the state website last week based on the June 30, 2020 actuarial valuations. If Kenilworth is any measure the 2022 hikes are massive for the second straight year and explains why the democrats in charge embargoed these numbers until after their elections.

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Truth on NJ Financial State 2021

Truth in Accounting (TIA) released its twelfth annual Financial State of the States with New Jersey not last this year (next-to-last):

(49) NEW JERSEY taxpayers are on the hook for $58,300 as of fiscal year 2020. The beginning of the pandemic and subsequent downturn in the market hurt New Jersey’s pension plans. The state’s major pension plans expected a 7.0 percent return on investment when in reality they received 1.4 percent. The state remains in abysmal fiscal health and had no money set aside to weather the current or any future crisis.(page 11)

It is primarily Cheiron gimmicks that has been bringing New Jersey numbers steady or dropping while Connecticut ballooned this year.

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BBBA On Pensions

Democrats will hold a couple of days of hearings starting tomorrow on the Build Back Better Act (BBBA). This will likely get rammed through so it is worthwhile to see what it has to say about pensions.

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KBudget(5): Soft Costs Hit Hard

$79,230.50 was Paid or Charged for Engineering Services and Costs for 2020. However, billing records show that the borough engineer, Harbor Consultants, invoiced $297,700 in 2020 (see below). Where would that extra money be coming from?

About those soft costs:

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KBudget(4): Paying to Fight Merck

The salary amount represents $2,999.17 paid each month to this guy:

As for the increase in Other Expenses:

Here is who we have fighting Merck and how much it means in taxes:

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KBudget(3): Shared Tax Hikes

Governor Murphy’s prime (only) initiative to reduce property taxes is Shared Services. Here is how that worked out in Kenilworth for 2021:

If you’re counting that’s:

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Here is some new (to me) information on the Social Security item for police.

Since we have payroll data from the pension spreadsheet as of March 31, 2021 here is what the employer portion of OASI should look like:

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