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By framing the cuts as the reduction of subsidy, Christie is arguing that New Jersey tax payers shouldn't have to foot the bill for those who chose to ride transit. But the idea that people should pay the fair cost of the services they use only goes so far apparently.
Transit fares are similar to the gas tax and tolls on highways in that they are seen as user fees that go to pay the cost of providing the service, which in this case is transportation.A  And while the notion that people who use a service should pay the cost of that service, rather than have others 'subsidize' their choice, is appealing, in the case of transportation, it is also deeply misleading.
Earlier this month Assemblyman Cryan introduced two companion bills aimed at replenishing the Trust Fund. State Planning- New Jersey's State Plan, State Planning Commission and Office of Smart Growth have been slowly atrophying over the past A deacade, and the result has been a conflicting state land-use policy and confusion at the local level about where to grow and where to preserve.
Affordable Housing- There is a general recognition in the state that New Jersey's system for providing affordable housing, as embodied in the Council on Affordable Housing, is broken and needs to be reformed.
Transportation Trust Fund- As has been noted many times on this blog, New Jersey's Transportation Trust Fund is expected to become insolvent by the middle of next year, leaving the state with no means to pay for critical transportation projects. First-timeA home buyer tax credit- In an effort to stimulate a sagging real estate and construction industry in New Jersey, the State Assembly recently passed the New Jersey Home Buyer Tax Credit Program.
New Jerseya€™s State Development and Redevelopment Plan calls for channeling future growth into walkable, mixed-use centers, through either redevelopment of existing cities and towns or creation of new communities, surrounded by protected open lands.
This conflict between the State Plan and the water protection rules has made it nearly impossible to build new centers without an existing wastewater treatment facility in place.
In 2008, Woolwich Township, Gloucester County (one of the fastest growing municipalities on the East Coast since 2000) adopted ordinances to concentrate future development in a new, carefully planned regional center, and protect the surrounding farmland through a Transfer of Development Rights program.
This placed Woolwich in a chicken-and-egg situation: Developers wona€™t invest in identifying wastewater solutions without some assurance that sewers will be allowed, and the DEP cannot make sewer designations without a wastewater solution in hand. The department responded in December with a letter that created a small opening in the regulatory barrier. Before we dive into this, a disclaimer is in order: we have no opinions on whether Sharbell's proposal to remove age restrictions from 150 housing units in Robbinsville is a good idea or not.
As reported by the Messenger Press on Monday, the Robbinsville Planning Board rejected Sharbell's proposal by a vote of 5-1, citing "concerns that the change would cause an influx of schoolchildren and a steep increase in school taxes." The decision was met with cheers of approval from the crowd, which echoed the board's concern about the impact of the proposed conversion on local taxes. This is not meant to disparage the residents and planning board of Robbinsville, who, it could be argued, were only acting in their rational self-interest. As for Robbinsville, the planning board's decision is only the first step in what will likely be a drawn out dispute between the town and the developer, who has already said they intent to appeal the ruling. New Jersey Future is a statewide research, policy and education group that advocates for sustainable growth, environmental preservation, neighborhood revitalization and transportation choice.
Recently I set out to find a new desk for my computer to rest on and came across a lot of ideas that I thought were worthy enough to share. OneLessDesk from Heckler Designs has a 2 deck design and takes up merely 12 inches of space when put away.
At one time, you needed a desk that could fit a mountain of paper, a two-foot-deep monitor, printer, and a CPU the size of a Labrador. If you normally tend to work on a laptop, this floating Ledge desk from Urban Case might be all you need. Milk‘s computer desk is another minimalist desk concept that is defined by clean lines and in-built compartments for hardware and fish tank! The Airia Desk From Herman Miller is the latest example of the design giant’s genius. The Signalement Desk designed by Germany’s Peter Petersen as part of his Tank Collection, and is made entirely of medium density fiberboard and looks like something from the future. If you are the kind who gets easily distracted, you would love the ReWrite desk by GamFratesi. The iDesk is as sleek as any iMac, making it a great décor compliment to your computer. MisoSoup Design’s K Workstation looks like a single piece of material mounted to a wall to provide a workspace, storage and overhead shelving with the aesthetic fluidity of a noodle.
The XYZ desk offers something revolutionary – it integrates the computer right into the desk.
What we are aboutOur mission is to help people visualize, create & maintain beautiful homes. Follow us for a daily dose of outstanding homes, intelligent architecture & beautiful design. Enables both day and night flight to locate building energy loss and structural issues The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted approval for the first nighttime commercial drone operation in the U.S. Signing up for a gym membership, but realise you’re in a problem just before starting? As part of efforts to strengthen the agricultural sector, the Jamaican government will be acquiring durable equipment from Cuba, while also relying on the expertise they have developed in greenhouse technology.

Aurora Flight Sciences announced today that a subscale vehicle demonstrator (SVD) of its LightningStrike, Vertical Take-off and Landing Experimental Plane (VTOL x-plane) for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was successfully flown at a U.S. Osprey was recently appointed to support the UK CAA Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) Programme to develop a baseline position on Small UAS regulations. Lichfield, Staffordshire: Midlands-based specialist engineers, AIE (UK) Ltd have once again seen the rewards for their culture of innovation by securing a recent grant to develop a rotary propulsion unit for maritime surveillance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Some of us are getting to know each other so well that gatherings such as this are starting to feel kind of like family reunions. Growing fruits and vegetables can be a constant battle against pests, disease and weather.Dr. Autonomous Systems Cooperative is pleased to present a new helicopter design which has been engineered from the ground up for UAV usage. Michigan State University is hosting the next symposium on light in horticulture held under the auspices of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS).
Double DIY: Invisible Shelf Meets Abstract Modern SculptureHidden wire and concealed glass shelves are nothing new.
Creative contemporary domestic designs, from unique home architecture to custom interior, furniture & DIY design ideas.Find inspiration via plans & pictures of compact modular mini-houses, small-space apartments, all-in-one bathroom & bedroom projects & more.Upcycled cargo shipping container houses, to space-saving furniture, ultra-modern interiors & futuristic homes! In his speech, Christie defended the cuts, saying "the state cannot continue to subsidize New Jersey transit to the extent it does. If people want to take a train or a bus, they should have to pay the full cost of that trip, not rely on others to 'subsidize' their choice.A  Undoubtedly, this reasoning, which rests on a notion of fairness and equity, will appeal to many in a state which has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation. When asked whether he would follow the advice of his transportation transition committee and raise the state's gas tax, which was last raised in 1988 and is the 4th lowest in the nation, Governor Christie was adamant. We depend on the safe and efficient movement of people and goods for much of our economic activity.
So far, the Christie administration has been quiet on how they plan to address this looming problem, but at least one legislator is already thinking about how to plug the gap.
The first raise New Jersey's motor fuels tax eight cents per year for the next three years, with annual increases tied to the rate of inflation after that. In a speech to the Monmouth County Transportation Summit in May, Senator Sean Kean said that while a double digit increase in the tax may cause sticker shock, "it's disingenuous just to discount it".
During the transition, New Jersey Future called on Governor Christie to embrace state planning as a means of coordinating state policy for land-use and economic development, and that message has resonated with the new administration. At that point, all of the nearly $900 million a year that is currently raised through the gas tax and other sources for the Trust Fund will be needed to pay off existing debt, and some combination of new revenue and new debt will be needed to service the State's approximately $1.6 billion annual transportation capital plan. The program, which would "give residents who purchase a home in 2010 a series of tax credits spread out over three years totaling either $15,000 or 5 percent of the purchase price of the home", has strong support in both chambers, according to NewJerseyNewsroom. But the Department of Environmental Protectiona€™s water protection rules prohibit sewers in areas that lack approved wastewater treatment solutions, even if there are no environmental constraints. Last month, however, the DEP resolved such a conflict in Woolwich Township in a way that offers a potential breakthrough in the planning vs. The State Planning Commission endorsed the Woolwich plan, including the new regional center planned for compact growth. So in April 2010, Woolwich proposed that its planned regional growth area be designated a a€?Future Sewer Service Areaa€? as part of the countywide wastewater planning process with the DEP. Although it was not able to adopt the a€?Future Sewer Service Areaa€? sought by Woolwich until wastewater treatment plans were actually in place, the department agreed to formally recognize Woolwicha€™s planned center as a a€?Potential Sewer Service Areaa€? within the Gloucester County Wastewater Management Plan. In fact, we try to stay out of local land-use decisions entirely and stick to state policy, and this case is no different. Rather, it serves as another example of the distortions in local land-use planning caused by the state's property tax system. As Robbinsville's mayor put it, "There are no winners or losers, as I am sure we are headed to court. Founded in 1987, New Jersey Future is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and the leading voice for promoting smart growth in New Jersey. The blog provides information and analysis on a variety of topics related to land use in New Jersey. Design wise, I am more of the minimalist so naturally the ones I tend to like also favour this type of style. We bring to you inspiring visuals of cool homes, specific spaces, architectural marvels and new design trends.
But we’re also eager to expand our family to engage a broader community in the dialogue about unmanned aircraft.
As one of the first 50 FAA Section 333 approvals Industrial Aerobotics took an early lead in the energy sector vertical with one of the first approvals specializing on Solar and Electric Utility asset inspections.
Fare revenue typically covers less than half the costs of running most transit systems, and studies have shown that the gas tax covers a continually decreasing share of the total money spent to expand and create the road network (while Tri-State's 1995 study on road subsidies in NJ is a bit out-dated at this point, more recent studies on the federal level have come to the same conclusion: the gas tax does not cover the full cost of building and maintaining our roadways).

Without our transportation system, economy would literally grind to a halt, costing much more than the 'subsidy' we pay to maintain a state of good repair on the system. He also noted that New Jersey's gas tax was among the lowest in the nation, and that a few pennies on the gas tax would help solve the trust fund situation. Currently, they are looking to move the State Planning Commission and Office of Smart Growth out of the Department of Community Affairs and in to the Lt.
A bill known as S1, sponsored by Senator Lesniak, seeks to address New Jersey's affordable housing system by abolishing COAH, changing the standards by which municipalities can meet their affordable housing obligation, and shifting the oversight of this new system to the Department of Community Affairs. While the administration is reportedly working on a proposal to address the looming crisis, at least one legislator is taking matters into his own hands. While the measure will likely benefit the state's sluggish home buying market, it also has the potential to stimulate growth in sensitive areas. But because there are no facilities to treat the expected wastewater, the Department of Environmental Protection was unable to designate the center as eligible for sewers. This will allow the DEP to approve additions to the Sewer Service Area as soon as wastewater treatment capacity can be demonstrated.
There may be plenty of valid reasons why Sharbell's proposal was wrong for Robbinsville, but when that town's planning board voted to deny the developer's application to convert the units on the basis that it would create too many school kids, it raised the larger issue of the role of fiscal considerations in land-use decision making at the local level.
In 2003, New Jersey Future wrote this in a report calling for reform of the state's property tax system: "Property taxes seriously skew housing choice. It is those same distortions that have resulted in a jobs to housing imbalance of 13:1 in the Route 1 region in Mercer County, and a protracted legal battle surrounding a proposed transit-oriented development at the Princeton Junction train station.
New Jersey Future is pulling together a special team of 10th Anniversary sponsors to recognize ten years of smart growth success.
You may also be interested in New Jersey Future's quarterly newsletter and its bi-weekly information briefing, called Future Facts. These minimalist computer desks we are going to feature are light weight, easy on the eyes and most of them are as sleek as the technology they are designed to hold. In both cases, the gap between the revenue generated by the 'user fee' and the actual cost is made up by a 'subsidy'. Singling out transit riders (many of whom who depend on transit for their livelihood) while giving drivers a free pass is an artificial distinction (likely born from political considerations), as our roads and rails are inextricably linked and are vital parts of our overall transportation system.A  No one denies that New Jersey is in dire fiscal straights, and asking the people who use our transportation system to pay more to maintain it is indeed a fair proposal. Governor's office, brining land-use planning in to an office that is charged with increasing coordination across departments and aligning state department spending and rule-making behind a central vision. Although the bill recently passed the Senate Economic Growth CommitteeA unanimously, and apparently has the support of the Governor's office, many, including New Jersey Future, have reservations about the ability of the bill to create an effective system for the production of affordable housing in the state. Assemblyman Cryan recently introduced two companion bills aimed at replenishing the Trust Fund.A The first raises New Jersey's motor fuels tax eight cents per year for the next three years, with annual increases tied to the rate of inflation after that.
Three-quarters of the $100 million set aside for the program will go to subsidize the construction of new homes, while only $25 million will go for the purchase of existing homes, and there are no links in the law to the State Plan's growth areas.
The department will not require any further evaluation of the location of the Sewer Service Area, because it has already completed a technical review of its environmental features.
The property tax system drives many communities to favor commercial, industrial or senior housing developments over traditional family housing in order to limit school-age children." More recently, NJ Future made light of the lengths that towns go through to attract so-called "clean ratables" in its April Fools Day post about a fictional reality TV show called "Ratable Wars", where towns compete for a new shopping center (while the losing towns, appropriately, get new housing). Ultimately, A achieving a sustainable system of local land-use decision making that relies on sound planning principles, not short term financial impacts, will require systematic property tax reform at the state level. In a press release on the Assembly Republicans website, Assemblyman DiCicco decried the proposed increase as "devastating to residents", especially seniors.
New Jersey Future, along with its partners, will continue working with the legislature and the Governor's office to create an affordable housing system that reduces bureaucracy, but still generates affordable housing opportunities in the right places throughout the state.
In the meantime, there are ways to incentivize towns to accept housing, such as the Smart Housing Zones initiative that NJ Future proposed in 2008. In a separateA release, Assemblyman Holzapfel claimed the increase would "deliver another crushing blow to the statea€™s tourism industry", particularly in the shore communities he represents in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. There will also be a new bill introduced in the next month to formalize this new role for the State Planning Commission, and to give it additional authority to coordinate state land-use activities.
The program would have given towns a financial reward for each new unit of housing zoned for in smart growth areas, though the initiative died in the legislature. InA a speech to the Monmouth County Transportation Summit in May, Senator Sean Kean said that while a double digit increase in the tax may cause sticker shock, "it's disingenuous just to discount it".
New Jersey Future is working with the Tr-State Transportation Campaign and others to build support for a sustainable reauthorization to the Transportation Trust Fund, one that raises and constitutionally dedicates new revenue, relies less on debt, adequately funds transit and links transportation spending with smart-growth planning.

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