Give up rebate to prevent education cuts, hikes?

Republican Gov. Chris Christie is in the process of changing direction in the way business is conducted in New Jersey.

Previous Democratic governors, i.e., Jim Florio, James Mc- Greevey, Richard Codey and Jon Corzine, governed from the prospective of providing more and more services and programs for their constituents. While these are laudable pursuits, they are costly to taxpayers. Since state budgets must be balanced by law, to accomplish this end we saw our taxes, fees and bond debt significantly increase over their years of governance.

It is now at the point where many New Jersey residents have moved to states were the tax burden is less, i.e., Florida, South Carolina, Maryland, Arizona, to mention a few. Those of us who remain want to see these inexorable increases in taxes, fees and fines stopped. For this reason the electorate has chosen Chris Christie as its governor.

As governor, Christie has made some difficult decisions. By freezing additional spending as well as cutting back on existing programs and spending, he hopes to bring our budget under control. It’s easy to criticize him if your ox is being gored. Education has taken a big hit. That is because of the large percentage of the budget it takes up. Many New Jersey citizens have been asked to make sacrifices in order to balance the state’s ballooning budget and thereby prevent necessary large tax increases as well as cuts in services.

Last year I received a check for $1,200 from the state for my homestead rebate. While I love receiving such checks, I would be willing to forgo my next rebate check if it would prevent the cuts in the education budget and stop the increase in NJ Transit fares. I’d rather give up one year’s rebate check rather than have my real estate taxes go up several hundred dollars over the next few years forever.

So, I challenge my fellow citizens to make the same sacrifice I’m willing to make.

Rich Cola Old Bridge