New Jersey's 25th Legislative District

Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Raises Concerns About Taxpayer Subsidies for Wind Port Amid COVID Impacts on Rising Property Taxes, School Cuts and More

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New Jerseyans are struggling with a suffocating recession that dumped millions of workers out of jobs, as Governor Murphy is proposing an additional $14 billion in state borrowing and abolishing programs that provide property tax relief for our seniors and middle-class taxpayers. Now, based on media reports, Murphy plans to commit $200 million in taxpayer money we don’t have for a pet project.

Before the Governor commits $200 million to a private port development in Salem County, Senator Bucco called for restoring property tax relief programs for seniors and middle-class residents, reversing funding cuts for education, and assisting small and mid-size employers. (Wikimedia Commons)

“No one disagrees that we should be moving to a cleaner energy future, but committing $200 million in state support at this moment seems tone-deaf to the dire fiscal challenges the State is facing,” said Senator Anthony M. Bucco (R-25). “The state is more than $10 billion in the hole because of the pandemic and irresponsible spending. Murphy says we need to borrow at record levels to pay our bills, yet he’s willing to gamble money we don’t have on a government-run energy project benefiting foreign companies. What could go wrong? Once again, the Governor’s priorities are inside-out.”

The Washington Post published a story about a plan to build the largest wind turbine port in the nation on 30 acres of land along the Delaware River in Salem County. The port will be dedicated to assembling and shipping turbines that will be deployed along the Eastern Seaboard, and according to the newspaper report, the state will split the bill on the $400 million price tag with private companies.

Murphy has pushed offshore wind as a source of power, despite higher costs for ratepayers, and has declared a state goal of 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. No cost assessment has been done to determine how the Governor will achieve his 2050 goals of 100% renewable energy.

“If this is a worthy project, then the private-sector should fully fund it and I would be the first to applaud this effort. But it is counterproductive to even think about spending this kind of money when we’re pleading with the federal government for critical funding to stop higher property taxes, deep cuts to school funding, and other priorities,” Bucco noted. “Murphy has already announced he is targeting cuts for property tax relief for seniors, and our hard-hit schools are not getting all the money they were promised. These are far more critical funding priorities than showing progress on the Governor’s campaign talking points.

“Tens of thousands of small businesses are dying after excessive mandatory lockdowns. When they lock their doors, jobs are lost forever,” Bucco said. “It’s time for the Governor to look beyond his progressive agenda and help rescue the mom-and-pop shops that Main Street New Jersey depends on.”

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