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Cory Booker on Tax Reform

Mayor of Newark; N.J. Senator

 


Promised no taxes; but meant "no on one city tax increase"

BROKEN PROMISE: : The Booker said "no tax increases; voted against mayor's tax increases." on his Mayoral campaign website in 2002 but meant "I opposed THAT tax increase," referring to a proposed tax increase when Booker was on the City Council. But voters very reasonably interpreted it as "no tax increases in the future." We call that a "legalism," pretending that there is a meaningful difference. He broke his no-tax promise as mayor, and went on to adopt more pro-tax rhetoric in the Senate.

ANALYSIS: President George H. W. Bush lost his 1992 re-election in large part due to breaking his "no new taxes" pledge. Booker should have learned the lesson of absolute no-tax pledges; he ignored that lesson for political expediency in 2002.

Source: Cory Booker 'Promises Broken,' by Jesse Gordon, p. 64 , Apr 1, 2017

Raise taxes because quick fix of cuts wasn't enough

Q: Is it time to raise taxes in Newark?

A: Well, look, unfortunately we've had to, but to me, I always say we're a slave to the tyranny of a quick fix. Unfortunately, whether it's at the federal level and what we're all watching right now or the local level, you just can't get out of the problems we have dug ourselves into by one solution or the other. So what do we do in Newark? We cut the size of our government by nearly 20% of our employees. We have made very dramatic cuts into overall government, because that just has to be done. But in addition to that, we have also raised taxes because the problems that we are in could not be gotten out of by one solution. There's no one trick to this. You have to have a comprehensive strategy to attack these issues. Right now what frustrates me, looking at the federal level, is that our politics is not serving the kind of nuanced complicated problems that we have; people are indulging in deeper and deeper partisanship that does not serve progress.

Source: Neal Conan on National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation , Jul 21, 2011

One-time building sale, plus tax increase, to balance budget

By making the difficult decisions this year--involving layoffs, reductions in spending across the board, and a tax increase--Newark will be fully able to operate under the 2% property tax cap advocated for by the Mayor and implemented by the State Legislature. In other words, Newark has difficult choices to make today in order to insure its long-term fiscal strength and success.

The balanced budget originally presented by the Mayor was no longer feasible. The City is pursuing another option to avoid a seriously damaging tax increase: a sale/leaseback of certain municipal buildings. This plan is projected to cut the remaining budget gap by 53%, and it will also provide much-needed funds to improve several city buildings. Governments across the country have pursued this option as they face similar struggles. This one-time revenue combined with other measures will significantly temper the required increase; however, some tax increase will still be required.

Source: 2010 Introduced Budget: Mayor's Commentary Press Release , Feb 9, 2010

Other candidates on Tax Reform: Cory Booker on other issues:
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Page last updated: Mar 15, 2019