Daily Archives: January 24, 2011

>Crime Scene Middletown: WOMAN ARRESTED FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION AFTER MOTOR VEHICLE STOP

>PREPARED BY DETECTIVE LIEUTENANT STEPHEN DOLLINGER

On January 22, 2011 at approximately 2:15 am Patrolman Stephen Greenwood was on patrol when he observed a vehicle fail to stop at the stop sign at the corner of Chapel Hill Road and Kings Highway East.

After stopping the vehicle and approaching the driver, identified as Meghan Walsh, age 19, from Normandy Court in Middletown, Officer Greenwood detected the odor of burnt marijuana coming from the interior of the vehicle. Officer Greenwood advised Walsh of his observation and received consent to search the car.

Upon searching the vehicle, Patrolman Greenwood located loose marijuana and a pill bottle which contained Acetaminophen and Oxycodone Hydrochloride on the seat of the vehicle. Acetaminophen and Oxycodone Hydrochloride are prescription medications and Walsh did not have a lawful prescription from a doctor to possess the pills.

Walsh was placed under arrest and was transported to police headquarters. She was charged with Possession of a controlled dangerous substance and Possession of CDS in a motor vehicle. She was also issued a summons for the motor vehicle violation. She was processed and released on her own recognizance pending a court date.

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Filed under Controlled Dangerous Substance, Crime Scene Middletown, Marijuana, motor vehicle violation, prescription drugs

>NJPP Monday Minute 1/24/11: Job creation or corporate welfare?

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Large corporations and small businesses will receive more than $800 million in tax breaks if the governor signs a number of bills passed by the Legislature earlier this month as part of its “Back to Work NJ” package. Much of the rhetoric associated with these bills is about creating jobs. Some of the legislation–specifically, one bill that allows unemployed people to receive training while they collect unemployment insurance–might have that effect. Many of the others, however, seem to benefit businesses rather than the unemployed.

Lawmakers might have a stronger case if they had followed their own law. New Jersey passed the Development Subsidy Job Goals Accountability Act in 2007, a bill meant to document the effect of tax breaks for businesses on job growth. The report is supposed to include the number of jobs created; whether they are full- or part-time; the salaries and benefits paid; and the number of current and new workers with health insurance. Unfortunately, the act has never been implemented.

Whether these tax cuts will lead to new investments in the state remains an unanswered question. There is no question, however, that in a time of scarce resources, the state stands to lose an estimated $568 million annually from the following six key business tax break bills alone.

Net Operating Losses (S1540/A3143)


One of the most costly of the bills allows businesses that pay their corporate tax liabilities as part of their personal gross income tax to combine certain losses and write them off against their income for up to 20 years. The Division of Taxation estimates the state will lose between $375 million and $400 million annually if this bill becomes law.

Under current law, gains from rents, royalties, patents, copyrights, partnerships and S corporation income are considered separate categories of business income and are deductible only against losses in the same category. For example, a business partnership that loses money in a given year can now only write off its losses against that partnership and not against any rents, royalties, patents, etc. it might have. This bill would allow the business partnership losses to be written off against profits of the other businesses. The impact of this is to allow businesses to write off much more of their bad business decisions for up to 20 years–well beyond the likely life of many of the businesses.

Single Sales Factor (S1646/A1676)


Changing the way states tax multi-state corporations has been on big business lobbyists’ wish list for a long time in New Jersey. Currently, New Jersey calculates corporate business taxes for multistate corporations based on three factors – sales, property and personnel. This bill eliminates the property and personnel factors from the calculation, leaving only sales. Multi-state corporations with significant property and personnel in New Jersey will benefit most from this; corporations that operate entirely within the state will be unaffected. The bill also establishes a special formula for airlines subject to New Jersey taxes.

The Office of Management and Budget estimates this bill will cost the state $39.2 million in corporate taxes in FY 2012; $78.4 million in FY 2013; and $98 million in FY 2014 and in future years, as it is phased in over three years. But OMB says the estimate is subject to significant fluctuations because a very few large taxpayers may account for significant revenues. When New Jersey switched to its current formula in 1978, the Division of Taxation estimated that 81 percent of tax benefits went to 200 multi-state corporations.

Closing Fund (S2545/A3353)


If the Closing Fund bill is enacted, New Jersey will have up to $50 million for grants to encourage companies to stay, expand or move to the state. The fund is aimed at companies that have received subsidies already but say they need more in order to close the deal with the state. The law would be administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the State Treasurer, who will be able to waive all grant criteria if they determine the project would significantly benefit the state’s economy. No job requirements are included in the bill. To receive a grant from this fund, a company would not need to hire a specific number of people, pay them a certain amount, provide them with health insurance or even hire them as regular employees instead of as consultants.

Garden State Film & Digital Media Jobs Act (S690/A2905)(S2545/A3353)


Despite the fact that Gov. Christie suspended New Jersey’s film subsidy program in July 2010 because he said the state couldn’t afford it and the fact that many other states are limiting their film and digital media credits, the Legislature has passed a bill that significantly increases New Jersey’s film and digital media tax credit. The bill will increase the credit from $10 million to $50 million for filmmakers and from $5 million to $10 million for digital media producers. The Office of Legislative Services estimates that this bill would cost the state $45 million a year. As long as at least 60 percent of total production costs occur in New Jersey, filmmakers and producers would continue to be entitled to a credit of up to 20 percent of their production costs (and 22 percent if those transactions take place in an Urban Enterprise Zone) on their state corporate business or gross income taxes.

According to a recent study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the cost of film credits generally far outweigh their benefits. The study found that most of the in-state jobs created from film-related work are part-time, temporary positions. New Jersey has commissioned its own study on the effectiveness of its film tax credit, but the report has not been released.

Historic Property Reinvestment Act (S659/1951)


The Historic Property Reinvestment Act establishes tax credits for the rehabilitation of historic properties – both private homes and business properties. Homeowners can receive a 10-year credit of up to 25 percent ($25,000) of the rehabilitation cost applied against their income tax liability. The business owners’ credit is not capped and can be taken against their corporate business tax and insurance premiums tax liabilities. At least 40 percent of the rehabilitation must be done on the structure’s exterior. If the tax credit is greater than the income tax liability, the bill allows excess credit to be carried forward for four years and unused credits to be sold.

A December 30, 2010 article in the Wall Street Journal profiled the conversion of the 10 buildings on the 15-acre Jersey City Medical Center campus, which would be eligible for tax credits of up to $87 million under this bill. The conversion of the Medical Center into luxury apartments and 45,000 square feet of amenities, including a pool and fitness center, is an example of what should not be subsidized. Such projects do little more than increase developers’ profits at the expense of public services.

The executive branch estimates the credit would cost the state $15 million in FY 2012; $25 million in FY 2013; $40 million in FY 2014; and $50 million in FY 2015. The Office of Legislative Services estimates no revenue loss in FY 2012 and a loss of $22.2 million in FY 2013; $29.9 million in FY 2014; and $37.6 million in FY 2015.

Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant Program (BRRAG) Expansion (S2370/A3389)


On January 6, the Legislature passed and Gov. Christie signed an expansion of the BRRAG program that provides tax credits to businesses based on the number of their employees in New Jersey. The expansion increases the amount a business can be paid for each employee working in New Jersey and sets up a complicated five-tier system that increases the subsidy amounts and duration depending on the size of the company. The credits now are accessible to any industry the state Economic Development Authority determines is desirable to maintain in the state. Before this expansion, BRRAG targeted the biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, high-technology, financial services, manufacturing, logistics and transportation industries.

The Office of Management and Budget estimates the expansion will result in a state revenue loss of up to $18.6 million annually, beginning this year.

The six bills included here contain many unknowns. It is possible they will create new jobs; it is equally possible they won’t. What is fact, however, is that all of them will result in a revenue loss to the state at a time when the state needs every cent it can collect. When times are tough, fiscal discipline should apply to everyone, not just those with a voice in the state capitol.

Note: Estimated total cost of all six bills is between $542.8 – $567.8M

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Filed under Bills and Laws, corporate tax breaks, Job creation, Monday Minute, New Jersey Policy Perspective, NJ State Legislature, unemployment insurance

>Same Old Jets – Princess’s Prediction Comes True

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Unfortunately for Jets fan all around the Country, Princess the Camel got this one correct. On Friday, the prognosticating camel of Popcorn Park Zoo, picked the Steelers to defeat the Jets in the NFL’s AFC Title game.

It’s the day after and all I can say is that nothing new has happened with the Jets, they are still the same old , snake bitting team they have always been. For the second time in as many seasons they lost in AFC Championship Game, the last hurdle to the Superbowl.

I think Princess was onto something, maybe all that trash talking by Rex Ryan and the hype that came from being on HBO’s sports anthology show “Hard Knocks” earlier this season was just to much to bare. Maybe now, Ryan has had that chip knocked off his shoulder and has learned that you should make promises that you can’t deliver on.
Even though I am a Giants fan and predicted a Steeler victory (24-17) which was nearly spot on, I really wanted the Jets to win and extend the football season for all NY fans. It is always more exciting to have a hometown team involved in a championship game or series. Having the Jets in the Superbowl, even though I would have been jealous, would have been exciting.
Oh well, as they say, better luck next year Jets. This just wasn’t your time to soar.

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Filed under AFC Championship game, NFL, NY Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Princess the Camel, Rex Ryan, Superbowl

>Fitness guru Jack LaLanne, 96, dies

>I mean really, I thought he was already dead. It just goes to show ya, that when it is your time to go, it’s your time to go. It doesn’t matter in the how well you take care of yourself, because even the most fittest of us will succumb in the end.

From the Associated Press –

MORRO BAY, Calif. (AP) — Jack LaLanne, the fitness guru who inspired television viewers to trim down and pump iron for decades before exercise became a national obsession, died Sunday. He was 96.

LaLanne died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia Sunday afternoon at his home in Morro Bay on California’s central coast, his longtime agent Rick Hersh said.

Lalanne ate healthy and exercised every day of his life up until the end, Hersh said.

“I have not only lost my husband and a great American icon, but the best friend and most loving partner anyone could ever hope for,” Elaine LaLanne, Lalanne’s wife of 51 years and a frequent partner in his television appearances, said in a written statement.

LaLanne (pronounced lah-LAYN’) credited a sudden interest in fitness with transforming his life as a teen, and he worked tirelessly over the next eight decades to transform others’ lives, too.

“The only way you can hurt the body is not use it,” LaLanne said. “Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it’s never too late.”
His workout show was a television staple from the 1950s to the ’70s. LaLanne and his dog Happy encouraged kids to wake their mothers and drag them in front of the television set. He developed exercises that used no special equipment, just a chair and a towel.

He also founded a chain of fitness studios that bore his name and in recent years touted the value of raw fruit and vegetables as he helped market a machine called Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Dan and Jon, and a daughter, Yvonne.

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Filed under Associated Press, fitness guru, health and fitness, Jack Lalanne, respiratory failure