Dear Gov. Murphy,

I am a 46-year member of the New Jersey Carpenters Union and we were among the first to endorse your candidacy for Governor and rightly so. We needed change and you offered what we needed. Some people complain that you haven’t done all you promised. I don’t think they realize that campaigning on issues and being able to follow through are two different things. They don’t understand that until you get elected you are not really privy to the real information on the State of the State. Once you get elected and get into office you see reality and what can be done. You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken manure. I get it, I understand.

The issue I would like to discuss is the plight of senior citizens in New Jersey. People lament that the seniors are leaving New Jersey and heading out to Pennsylvania. It’s true and I don’t blame them. I’m grateful for the exemption you gave veterans, and I’m sure they are too, however, Pennsylvania doesn’t tax pensions, annuities or Social Security. I have even heard, though I haven’t investigated it, some areas give property tax breaks to seniors. I don’t blame them for leaving, do you? Those exemptions help to override what the Federal Government has done to us by putting a cap on deductions. I know it cost me another $7,000 more in Federal tax and if not for my state offsetting $1,900 of that it would have been worse.

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I refinanced in order to save money and cost me $14,000 in interest and it couldn’t be claimed. $14,000 more in charitable and church contributions and I could only take $10,000. The president said he was going to help the middle class. He is, he’s going to help make us the lower class.

We seniors are getting the shaft. There has to be something the State can do to offset this attack by the Federal Government. New Jersey is a great state. We have everything. Shore, mountains, lakes and rivers and open space. I don’t want to leave! It’s the seniors who helped to create this state. They settled here, built their homes here, raised families here and paid taxes for 30,40, and 50 years. It’s like working to build up a company and after 50 years they say “get out we don’t need you anymore.”

As the man said,” I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” There is something wrong with this picture. No one, I mean, no one should be run out of their home.

John E Mackay

Raritan Township