There’s a chasm between the top and bottom of New Jersey’s property market, according to Cat Country 107.3 in a story that – on closer inspection – turned out to be a rehash of a piece originally reported by NJ.com last week (for those charting the decline of the media, this is a practice known as ‘churnalism’). It’s worth revisiting the original report, though, because it gets at something that we’ve talked about – and lots of people talk about – often around here. Absecon Island is home to Longport, where property sales recently reached the highest median price for the greater Philadelphia region, and Atlantic City, at most eight miles away, and where property prices have been sluggish at best for a decade. It’s also worth revisiting this map from NJSpotlight, which shows another factor in the property-price mix. Longport has one of the lowest tax rates in the state, but one of the highest average tax bills per household, while Atlantic City has one of the highest tax rates in the state, but a still-low average tax bill per household.
New Jersey employs 500 lawyers, which sounds like a group worthy of its own collective noun, but whatever you’d call them there are – apparently – still not enough of them to do all the paper pushing the state needs. It’s mind boggling, but the Asbury Park Press has a neat investigation into the state’s practice of hiring external lawyers. SPOILER ALERT: some of the contracted lawyers have political connections!
The back-and-forth between Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian and Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson over how much, exactly, the county should get from the casinos’ payment-in-lieu-of-taxes made it into print (again) yesterday, after Levinson wrote a public letter here in retort to Guardian’s earlier public letter on the topic. Levinson’s point is that county taxpayers really can’t afford to keep making up the difference every time the casinos’ part of the tax pie gets cut – but Atlantic City taxpayers feel similarly about their tax bills so it’s hard to see who is going to blink first in this fight. Meanwhile the city is still under a state takeover and, as a reminder, nothing has changed since November to solve the city’s fiscal crisis, beyond the state’s move to introduce higher property taxes for AC residents and up the ante in a court battle with the firefighters’ union.
The rest of today’s headlines include a look at a model overdose-antidote policy in a South Jersey high school, an anti-addiction awareness campaign planned across the state and the latest arguments for and against legal marijuana in the state. All that and more below:
Atlantic City Casino Decline Means Less Support For County’s Neediest–With total revenues generated by Atlantic City's casinos being slashed by more than half over the last 12 years, other Atlantic County programs and services that rely at least in part on those monies are feeling the pinch. New Jersey 101.5 – Proud to be New Jersey – New Jersey News Radio
Funds Transferred From Birch Grove Trust are Permitted According to CFO–Birch Grove Park is 274 acres of lakes, trails and campsites with a playground, museum, a bandstand and ball fields to round out what is the largest park in the Atlantic County.
And while it is enjoyed by people far beyond Northfield, it is a city-owned park with Northfield footing the bill for its upkeep. Shore News Today
Letter: Atlantic City Mayor Guardian Misses Important Points–Editor's Note - This letter is in response to Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian’s recent commentary. Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson argues against Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian's view that the county should settle for a smaller proportion of the casinos' payment-in-lieu-of-taxes. Shore News Today
Residents Urge Freeholders Join Opposition To South Jersey Pipeline–Residents urged the Ocean County Freeholders to persuade the local appointee to the Pinelands Commission to vote against the South Jersey pipeline, but the Freeholders said that would be illegal. Freeholder Director Joseph Vicari said it would be illegal for the Freeholders to exert any kind of authority over commission members. Micromedia Publications
Model Narcan Policy Adds Heroin Revival Drug to Regional High Schools–For 25 years, Triton Regional High School Principal Louis Cappelli would dismiss his kids with the valediction, “Stay off the stuff!” NJ PEN
Looking To Buy Land in South Jersey? Here’s Where It Costs a Lot and a Little–Where is the most expensive place to buy land in the Garden State? It's right here in Cape May County. Cat Country 107.3
Ocean City firefighters extinguish truck blaze on the beach–OCEAN CITY — Firefighters extinguished a dump truck fire on the beach near Fifth Street Wednesday morning. Shore News Today
Chief Arthur Brown Super Bowl tailgate raises $11,000–EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – More than 300 people came out to support the Chief Arthur Brown Scholarship Foundation at its 25th annual Pre Super Bowl tailgate party Sunday, Feb. 5. Shore News Today
Should recreational marijuana be legal in New Jersey?–Supporters and opponents are bolstering their arguments in preparation for 2018, when a new governor may shift what has been strong resistance from Gov. Chris Christie. Press of Atlantic City
Chris Christie connections reward New Jersey law firms–New Jersey state government has 500 in-house attorneys on the public payroll, but brought in politically connected law firms to work on cases for an extra $28.4 million in taxpayer money last year, according to information obtained by the Asbury Park Press under a public records request. Daily Record
State plans potential $1 million anti-addiction public awareness campaign–New Jersey plans to launch a multifaceted public-awareness campaign regarding the dangers of drug addiction and the easy availability of prescription opiates, outreach that will build on a current ad for a new treatment helpline that features Gov. Chris Christie. www.njspotlight.com
Egg Harbor Township native wins big on ‘Price is Right’–Some tourists come away with a trinket or two after a trip away from home. Press of Atlantic City
Somers Point institutes new search measures after knives brought to school event–SOMERS POINT — The school district will begin random locker and desk checks for weapons after knives were brought to a school dance and other incidents. Press of Atlantic City