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
"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."