Spotlight: BettyLou DeCroce, NJ Assemblywoman 26th Legislative District

BettyLou DeCroce, assemblywoman for NJ District 26, seeks re-election in primaries on June 6. Credits: Gail Bottone

MONTVILLE, NJ - BettyLou DeCroce is a New Jersey Republican assemblywoman who has represented the 26th Legislative District since 2012 when she was elected to fill a vacancy left by the passing of her husband, Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce.

In a special election, she beat former Kinnelon Councilman Larry Casha by 120 to 67. In Nov. 2012, she won in the general election to fulfill the remainder of her husband’s two year term by defeating Democrat Joseph Raich.

This year DeCroce is running for re-election. The primary election is on June, 6, with the general election on Nov. 7. Her opponents for the primary election are Republican Freeholders Hank Lyon and John Cesaroand incumbent Assemblyman Jay Webber. 

Sign Up for E-News

DeCroce also is the owner of and agent at ERA Gallo and DeCroce, Inc., a local real estate agency located in Parsippany. She resides in Parsippany-Troy Hills and has two sons and four grandchildren. 

She describes herself as an “up front person,” and said that when she took the oath of office, she promised to “always be a legislator with and open mind, listening ear and a willingness to work with everyone.” 

DeCroce grew up in Rockaway, NJ with her parents and three brothers. She got her first taste of politics from her grandparents Edward and Lulu Gleckler. Lulu was an aide to Peter Frelinghuysen, a Republican politician, who represented New Jersey's fifth congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1953 to 1975. Lulu also was chairperson of the Republican County Committee and the Republican Club in Rockaway for 35 years, and Edward was a councilman in Rockaway for 30 years. 

As a registered Republican, she began working at the polls at the age of 18, and in her early 20s, she ran for a seat on the Township of Mine Hill’s Council and won.

In elementary school, DeCroce was a Brownie and a Girl Scout. She also played third base for the Orioles, a recreation softball team that was sponsored by her father’s small business.

DeCroce graduated Morris Hills High School, where she was in the color guard and participated in skiing and softball. In the summers, she taught Vacation Bible School and was a Sunday school teacher.

DeCroce graduated from Berkley College majoring in professional development and then went on to Rutgers University to finish required courses for government certifications. At Rutgers, she took a three year course to receive a municipal clerk certification.

After earning her certification, she served as the Roxbury Township municipal clerk from 1988 to 2010. She also was on the Roxbury Planning Board from 1984 to 1987, and she served on the Parsippany Board of Adjustment for 11 years.

She worked for the Morris County Sheriff's Office in administration from 1984-1986. From 1999-2010, she served on the Morris County Joint Insurance Fund and during this time, she also was the North Jersey Health Insurance Fund Commissioner.

DeCroce was the Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs from 2010-2012. It was here that she authored the Best Practices for Municipalities, which became a statewide model for identifying efficiencies in local government that helps reduce property taxes. 

In the Assembly, DeCroce currently serves on the Commerce and Economic Development, Health and Senior Services, Transportation and Independent Authorities committees and the Joint Committee on Public Schools.

One of the major points in the 2017 campaign is the fact that DeCroce voted yes on the gas tax. She explained the bill was multifaceted and to vote no would have defeated many good components. She indicated that there had to be some compromises in the bill for it to pass since there is a majority of Democrats in the legislature. The Democrats wanted the increase in gas tax, and the Republicans wanted the decrease in sales tax and the elimination of the estate tax.

Some politicians wanted the bill to be divided into two parts so one could vote no to the gas tax and yes to the elimination of the estate tax, or vice versa. In order for both parties to win, the bill stayed as one.

The following are some of the reasons why DeCroce voted yes: The bill is the largest broad base tax cut in over 20 years. It includes decreasing sales tax from 7 percent in 2016 to 6.875 percent in 2017 and to 6.625 percent in 2018. Facts show that this .375 percent decrease in sales tax is the first cut given to New Jersey since 1994.

Municipal aid for local roads has increased from $200 million to $400 million, and there have been low interest loans from $100,000 to $200,000 from the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank within New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust.

Tax savings for lower income residents increased from 30 percent to 35 percent of the federal benefit beginning in tax year 2016.

Each taxpayer will be allowed a personal exemption of $1,000, which may be taken as a deduction from their New Jersey gross income. There are additional exemptions.

Tax savings for veterans will provide a personal exemption on state income taxes for all New Jersey veterans who have been honorably discharged from active service in the military or National Guard of $3,000.

It will phase out estate tax over the next 15 months, replacing the current $675,000 threshold to $2 million on Jan. 1, 2017 and be eliminated by Jan. 1, 2018.

And the bill eliminates taxing on retirement funds by increasing the New Jersey gross income tax exclusions on retirement/pension income to $100,000 for joint filers, $75,000 for individuals and $50,000 for married/filing separately by 2020.

As for the gas tax, it has increased from 14.3 cents on a gallon to 37.5, which is an increase of 23 cents. DeCroce said the 23 cents would be divided into 11 cents going to pay past debt, and 12 cents going for new roads, highways and infrastructure.

Last year DeCroce supported Ballot Question 2, which constitutionally dedicated funds to the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), placing it in a lock box to prevent it from being used for anything other than transportation/ infrastructure improvements. 

With the passage of Ballot Question 2 in the Nov. election, every penny of the state's 37.5-cent per gallon gas tax will go exclusively to transportation costs in the TTF.

DeCroce also pointed out that New Jersey is the only state that has transit as part of the state’s TTF. Therefore, comparing transportation figures to other states is not accurate.

She believes the state government needs to meet its obligations. She recommended the state to cut 3 percent from top line items in the budget except for debt service, leading the state in the right direction.

DeCroce stated that municipalities, counties, and boards of education have always paid their share towards pensions, but the state has not. She said it began with Governor Christie Whitman who suggested a “Pension Holiday.”

Concerning state aid to schools, she believes the formula has to change to make the funding more equitable. The way money is distributed to schools is “truly unfair,” she said. “It has to be fixed,” she added.

When not involved in politics and her family, DeCroce enjoys working in her yard and decorating for the holidays.

When asked what most people do not know about her, she said that she is a very good cook and makes great meatballs. She loves cooking in the crockpot and making homemade bread.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Mon, June 25, 7:00 PM

Senior House, Montville

Montville Republican Club Meeting


Tue, June 26, 10:00 AM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville




Wed, June 27, 7:30 PM

Montville Reformed Church, Montville

Transition to Puberty: Pathways Seminar

Health & Wellness


Sat, June 30, 9:30 AM

Pyramid Mountain, Montville Township

Wonderful Wildlife Hike

Health & Wellness

Tue, July 3, 10:00 AM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville



County Clerk Bringing Passport & Notary Offices to Lincoln Park June 28

June 24, 2018

LINCOLN PARK, NJ – The Morris County Clerk’s Passport Division is taking its passport operation on the road to Lincoln Park on Thursday, June 28 to make it more convenient for residents of the borough and towns in northeast Morris County to obtain passports.

There also will be an opportunity for new notaries to be commissioned or for existing notaries to obtain commission renewals.

Four Montville Residents Participate in American Legion Jersey Boys State Leadership Program

June 21, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - Four young men from Montville Township are among 883 other rising-seniors from New Jersey attending the 73rd session of the annual American Legion Jersey Boys State (ALJBS.)

At the event, taking place at Rider University this week, the students get to "govern and interact with their peers from across New Jersey as they run their own mythical 51st ...

Skype Brings Holocaust Survivor and Italian Historian to Montville Township High School Genocide Studies Classes

June 23, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Max Calfo’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies class Skyped a Holocaust survivor in Connecticut and a historian in Rome at Montville Township High School on Wednesday, June 13. The students spoke with the guests about events of the Holocaust that occurred in Poland and Italy respectively.

Holocaust survivor Mira Binford, originally from Bedzin, Poland, ...

Hot Rod Show in Roxbury Raises Money for Boy With Brain Disease

June 21, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ - They came from all over North Jersey to show off their chromed-out, big V8s. By day's end, they'd raised big bucks for a sick boy.

The annual North Jersey Street Rod Association (NJSRA) Father's Day Rod Run took place under sunny skies at Horseshoe Lake Park in Roxbury on Sunday. The charity event drew about 1,300 spectators and raised "a little ...

Former Jefferson School Staffer Facing Criminal Charges For Alleged Lewd Photos of Students

June 22, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - A former Jefferson Elementary School paraprofessional has been charged with criminal behavior believed to be related to lewd photos of students at the school that were found on his cell phone after he was arrested in Morris County on an unrelated sexual charge.

It also appears that South Orange Maplewood School District officials knew about the arrests as early as ...

Morris County Chamber Issues Statement About State Budget Negotiations and Proposed Tax Increases

June 21, 2018

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ - Paul Boudreau, president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, yesterday issued the following statement on the budget negotiations in Trenton:

“Individuals and businesses are shouldering a significant tax burden already in our state. Raising taxes sends a signal to our employers and future investors that New Jersey will remain uncompetitive for decades ...


OPEN HOUSES This Weekend 6/23 - 6/24, 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX Neighborhood Properties this weekend.

SATURDAY, June 23, 2018

  From 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

  102 Magnolia Road, Unit 3, Ramsey

  Click HERE to see full listing.


  From 12 - 3 p.m.

  150 Barrister Drive, Butler

   Click HERE to see full listing.




OPEN HOUSES This Weekend 6/16 - 6/17, 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX NEIGHBORHOOD PROPERTIES this weekend.

SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 2018:

  From 12 - 2 p.m.

  201 English Place, Bernards Township

  Click HERE to see full listing.



SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018:

  From 1 - 3 p.m.

  170 Morris Avenue, Mountain Lakes

  Click HERE to see full ...

Open Houses this Weekend by Century 21

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are the Century 21 Open Houses for this weekend:

Saturday, June 23 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
3 Louis Drive, Montville

Sunday, June 24 from 12 - 3 p.m.

6 Woodside Drive, Montville Township

Sunday, June 24 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at ...


AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...

Pet Corner