Tired of that pinch? I’m talking about that big pinch increasing each year on your wallets and hard-earned income due to the foolish tax and spend polices coming out of Trenton.

Amazing as it seems, there are some candidates running for election this year claiming we should keep raising property taxes and fees. They are part of that Trenton crowd that thinks every problem should be solved by taxing families more and more each year.

Not me!

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We have reached the point where families are moving out of New Jersey because the state is unaffordable. We can cut taxes if we stop increasing reckless government spending, which has hit historic levels under Governor Phil Murphy. We also can reduce waste if the Governor agrees to audit state spending in state operations that are not fully transparent or accountable.

I have been one of New Jersey’s biggest proponents of bi-partisan cooperation to resolve the state’s problems, and I have been able to work with the Governor’s office on a number of important issues. But when it comes to reckless state spending, that is where I have parted ways with the current administration.

I have repeatedly asked Governor Murphy to authorize an audit of education funding in New Jersey, and I will not stop until it is done. We need to ensure that important tax dollars are not being wasted. We must end the duplication of services, expenses and purchases — and the only way to do that is by transparently auditing our spending.

Right now, our poor state financing has placed the pensions and future of our hard-working teachers in jeopardy. The New Jersey Education Association has again endorsed my re-election because they know my demand for an end to reckless spending and mismanagement of our state finances is a step toward securing their future.

In just the past few months, the Governor has ordered audits of the Economic Development Agency and an audit of NJ Transit, both of which were necessary. But neither of those audits help the state deal with its number one problem, which is rising property taxes used to support education.

Approximately $28 Billion in state, federal and local dollars is spent each year on education in New Jersey, making school costs by far the largest drain on property taxes, particularly in the more suburban areas I represent in Morris, Essex and Passaic counties. Each year, reports issued by national researchers and think-tanks place New Jersey at the top in the nation for soaring property taxes, and it perpetuates a cycle of businesses refusing to locate here as families opt to move away.

Our economy in the Garden State has lagged the national boom because of the pressures of high taxes and the high cost of living. It is a cycle we will not break until we get financially responsible and take prudent, cost-saving steps such as the audit I am demanding of education dollars.

That is clearly not going to happen without two-party, bi-partisan government in New Jersey.

Under the current one-party rule, Governor Murphy and his Democrat-controlled Legislature have ignored fiscal common sense and passed 16 bills since Governor Murphy took office that increased and created 20 taxes and fees, costing taxpayers at least $2.5 billion.

You will not hear my Democrat opponents in this Assembly election mention, let alone criticize the massive new spending plan signed by Governor Murphy last June. They think we needed to raise some other taxes along the way, and if they are elected, they will rubber stamp the unchecked spree of tax hikes and spending increases perpetuated under the current one-party rule.

This past summer, the budget debate in Trenton was not about controlling spending or reducing taxes. The majority of legislators controlling our government instead fought over what pet projects to fund with the unprecedented $38.7 Billion budget plan they approved and who to tax in New Jersey to pay for it.

I have been a loud and reliable voice against massive state spending and tax hikes, and I will continue to be a financial watchdog for New Jersey families. I voted against the new state budget, which added $4 Billion in spending from just two years ago.

What have we heard from the candidates running against me? Just crickets! There is enough wrong in Trenton right now. Let’s fix the problems, not add to them.

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