Choices on Taxes in NJ


avi-solomonBy Avi Solomon, Newscenter
In life we have to make choices whether we want to or not. Of course, the choices we make always have a ripple effect of consequences. I made a choice to run for General Assembly of the 30th District of New Jersey. If elected, my choice will have tremendous ripple effects, which I hope will be for the good of Lakewood, the entire 30th District, and all of NJ. However, positive ripple effects can only be created by making the correct decisions. One of the crucial decisions that I’ll have to make if elected to the General Assembly is on the NJ budget.

The NJ budget is proposed by the governor, but it must be approved by the state legislators. In light of New Jersey’s current economic troubles even Governor Corzine promoted a budget cut of about two billion dollars along with a tax increase for the upper-class and wealthy of our state. Aside from that Corzine promoted the idea of denying homeowners a tax rebate if they make over $75,000 a year and cutting the tax rebate of homeowners by 33% if they make between $50,000 and $75,000. Corzine made a series of bad decision and the NJ General Assembly as well as the Senate are expected to follow in pursuit of Corzine’s financially destructive path. It is expected that both houses in the NJ legislation are going to pass Corzine’s budget proposal. As a Republican I believe in cutting taxes for all classes and could never vote in favor of any budget that emphasized a combination of class-warfare and tax increases. Granted, to believe in tax-cuts is also to believe in limiting government spending. Nevertheless, I believe that tax cuts are the ultimate key to stimulating and maintaining a healthy economy.

New Jersey has been the victim of tax increases in every area possible. If elected, I will fight to lower taxes in every area possible. I will fight to lower the state’s gross income tax rate, the state’s corporate business tax rate, and the state’s investment tax. In other words, I will fight to keep your money from being stolen by the government. The one area that I won’t fight taxes is to reduce the state’s sale tax back to the 6% that it was at in 2006 before the Corzine raised it to 7%. Nevertheless, I am convinced that if I could succeed in promoting my suggested tax-cuts our state would begin to financially thrive once more.

I have already mentioned that I believe taking the issue of illegal immigrant in NJ to task will save the state millions upon millions of dollars. However, I admit that it would not solve the state’s financial deficit problem alone. Another area that I would seek to save the money of hard-earned tax dollars is in our state prisons. New Jersey pumps millions of dollars into its prisons. I believe that a great amount of this money could be saved and go towards my tax-cut proposals by creating much more lenient standards in our criminal justice department. NJ law currently imposes a minimum three year prison sentence for somebody convicted of their third drug possession. Keep in mind, this sentence is not being handed down to a person guilty of selling drugs and the amount in possession is irrelevant. In my opinion, such a punishment is not only extremely harsh, but expensive as well. I would propose that such a person should serve three months in prison and pay a $2500 fine. This is just one example of how I’d seek to save the state money and finance tax-cuts across the board without cutting important programs.

I know that when it comes down to it it isn’t easy for any legislator to vote in favor of tax-cuts. However, it is a choice that I believe is correct and I’m willing to live with the consequences of my decision in this area.

{ Newscenter}


  1. We have suffered enough from “frum” people in public office. In the days when Gedolei Yisroel were consulted on matters pertaining to the Klal, shtadlanim refrained from assuming government positions.

    There are plenty of non-Jews who can represent our civic agenda. They are not magnets for anti-Semitism. They will not automatically fall under a microscope of investigations and innuendo.

    Today, a politician can be disgraced by his failure to pay social security taxes for the Mexican assistant to his gardener or for a long forgotten cleaning lady. Every tax return is up for scrutiny as well as ones history of receiving government assistance.

    We need representation that will not be attacked and distracted for reasons not related to our political agenda. If someone ought to take on the Mexican immigrants, it certainly is not someone identifiable as an orthodox Jew.

    It is furthermore an embarrassment when the least qualified of our community arrogantly announce their candidacies. These people put us in a position where we must choose between a frum candidate and a non-Jew; a situation that often leads us to the wrong decision.

  2. This isn’t student council president that you’re running for Avi. Come back when you’ve got the first shred of qualification.

  3. One doubts that Lakewood needs a “children’s crusade” to save it from over-taxation. Perhaps you ought to wait until you’re a little older to seek to represent your elders in civic government. Have you consulted with your posek before deciding to run? Or – strange as it may seem – your father and mother? The last time we had young people on crusade was the 60’s – and they didn’t do such a very good job, if I remember correctly.

  4. I think Avi Solomon, appropriately, defended his lack of experience last week in the Yated. After hearing the news that the Board of Ed is again raising our ‘already inflated taxes’, I think it’s time for a fresh, new face on the scene. To fight for the tax payers of Lakewood, in these difficult financial times.

  5. It is my sincere hope that the three people who posted these comments come back to the feedback to hear my response.

    The most important question that was raised is did I ask a posik whether I should run. The answer is, No.

    Did I ask an askan in NJ? I asked several. My question to them was focused on whether Malone and Dancer (The incumbents) were helpful to the frum community and if my candidacy would hurt that relationship. In regards to that question I got a green light to run. The next important issue raised was my age.

    The NJ Constitution states that you only need to be 21 years of age to run for General Assembly. If my age is good enough for the NJ Constitution I can’t see the validity of an objection to my age. Perhaps, the people who oppose me running at such a young age should seek to ammend the state constitution. Since I’m a believer in being involved in government you’d have my full support.

    What were some of my questions that I asked myself before I decided to run? Am I running for kovod or to help people. In my heart of hearts I feel that everyone is motivated by kovod to a certain extent unless they are a complete tzaddik.

    According to one comment I’m “frum” so obviously I’m not a complete tzaddik. However, I honestly don’t think kovod is my main motivation. The people who represent these three comments are proof of that and I’m sure there are others who feel similiar sentiments about my candidacy. I probably would stand to get greater kovod if I just remained a political columnist for the Shopper.

    I’ll even reveal something to my critics. I don’t even think my chances of winning are great. Actually, I know they aren’t great. However, it is worth it for me to run to make people more aware of the issues and to encourage people to get involved in politics and government. I say that even if that involvement is voting against me because you don’t agree with my ideas. I feel that my candidacy has already accomplished this goal by the number of people in Lakewood who now know that there is such a position as General Assembly in government.

    Finally, I want to address the issue of whether I’d put my soul and K’lal Yisreol at risk of chillul Hashem if I was elected General Assemblyman. The answer is Yes. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is no doubt that I’d be risking chillul Hashem if I was General Assemblyman. However, I’d also stand to create a tremendous al kiddush Hashem. Politicians have a reputation of corruption and scandal for good reason. If I could be a politician clean of corruption and who actually benefited the public that would be a tremendous al kiddush Hashem.

    I attended public school my entire life. I wore a yamulke and kept frum. I don’t know so many frum people who could say the same thing about their upbringing. In a place without a rav or a tzibbur I followed the Derech Hashem. In a world of immorality I preached morality. In a world of decadence. I remained a mench. It is a good thing the blogger Lakewood Voice of Reason is so quick to inform everyone that I’m only a “frum” Jew. I hope I have answered the objections of these three posts.

    If anyone has any further questions they can post a comment or e-mail me at [email protected]. Thank You.

  6. Mr. Solomon, your intentions are good, and no one questions your personal integrity. However, as you noted, you did not ask your posek. I would suggest doing this before running for public office – an activity which puts you glaringly in the spotlight not just as an individual but as an Orthodox Jew.

    Second, good intentions are not the same as wisdom and experience. Good judgment is not something we are born with – it is something we acquire. I saw the mistakes made by my political friends in the 60’s – and they were almost all the result of lack of experience. In your case, any mistakes you make will be on the front page, and your family and community will be there with you. Politics is rough and dirty beyond anything you can imagine, especially in the New York/New Jersey area.

    If you want to enter politics, start locally, on the city/county level, get experience dealing with the state political machine from the outside, and later, when you have a better grasp of how your state politics run, get involved on the state level.

    Don’t endanger your reputation, your family’s privacy or your community’s standing by biting off more than you will be able to chew right now.


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