More Taxpayer Burden: Pension & HealthCare Costs for Public Employees

The Press’s editorial of 11/14/22 has the headline, “Until public workers take less, others will pay more”.

The article says, “A few months ago the state discovered much more money would be needed to maintain the superior benefits that government workers get. Now, it’s becoming clearer how the public will pay more.

County and local governments face increases of as much as 23% to maintain the golden benefits for their workers.”

Also, it isn’t only the cost of health insurance for public workers that will increase.

In October, the state Division of Pension and Benefits said local governments face rate increases in their contributions to the state pension system.

New Jersey taxpayers are already coping with the highest national inflation rate in 40 years in a state with the highest property tax. (And, as of last year, New Jersey is the state with the highest lifetime tax burden on its residents.)

Temporary solutions for reforming the state’s public benefits system as well as long-term structural changes are being proposed. They do not address the root of this problem.

The Press offers a basic idea. “Don’t take pay and benefits significantly beyond what people outside government get for similar work.”

We agree and have expressed and recommended this idea and practice for many years regarding Brigantine’s government and public school (in the 2022-23 school budget the proposed cost- per- pupil is almost $35,000).

The State Commission of Investigation has been unable for many years to stop oversized benefit payouts to government workers.

Why? Could a reason be that New Jersey is one of the most pro-union government worker states in our country? (Press 5/30/21)

How does Brigantine’s government fit in this picture?

How will these facts affect Brigantine’s 2023 municipal and school budgets, upcoming union contracts, and our total property taxes? The taxpayers need to know this public information on a timely basis.

Sincerely, Anne H. Phillips, Brigantine Taxpayers Association


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