There is a question that New Jerseyans find themselves asking far too often. Why does Governor Murphy hate the Jersey Shore? First it was the $15 minimum wage and short term rental tax (even the repeal of the short term rental tax sat on Murphy’s desk for approximately 6 weeks with no action). Now Murphy has vetoed legislation that would have allocated $4 million a year to make repairs to the boardwalk in and around Wildwood. Murphy will not help tourism in New Jersey while he approves spending almost $8 million a year on college tuition for illegal immigrants and the legal defense of illegal immigrants facing detention or deportation. Murphy appears to be doing all he can to destroy tourism at the Jersey Shore. Meanwhile in 2016 tourism generated $32.2 billion of GDP representing 6.5% of the entire state economy. That same year tourism in New Jersey generated $4.9 billion in state and local tax revenues. How can our Governor not do all he can to protect this revenue stream?
The funding would have gone to the Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority for boardwalk construction, repair and maintenance. Mayor Ernie Troiano told the Press of Atlantic City on Saturday that he was “disappointed beyond words”. The 92-year old Wildwood boardwalk is in need of major repairs to its infrastructure, Troiano said, and locals can’t afford to shoulder the cost alone. “We send tons and tons of money to Trenton and get very little in return,” Troiano told the Press of Atlantic City. “It’s not like we’re asking them to generate more money for us but it’s money that we create and we send to them. And we’d like to keep some of it”.
In January Wildwood approved a master plan for $64.5 million in boardwalk reconstruction including fiber optics, sanitary sewer and water piping and rebuilding the boardwalk with a concrete understructure and hardwood decking,
Many are wondering is it just the Jersey Shore or all of South Jersey Murphy has a problem with. In July, the state Treasury released a list of $235 million in spending items to be held in reserve to be funded only if revenues outperform Murphy’s expectations. On that list was $4.6 million in state aid to Stockton University. State Senate President Steve Sweeney accused Murphy of political payback following budget battles including a battle over a millionaire tax that the Legislature refused to give Murphy for a second year in a row. Murphy has also locked horns with South Jersey political boss George Norcross over Murphy’s task force formed to investigate how the state gave tax incentives to businesses in New Jersey. The task force is investigating millions in incentives to companies in Camden tied to Norcross who is said to be a childhood friend and close political ally of Sweeney.
Also, both the Cape May and Monmouth County Sheriffs have been cooperating with ICE against Murphy and AG Grewal’s directive and Ocean County voted to sue the Murphy administration over the directive. Could Murphy be exacting revenge on these shore communities for refusing to cooperate with his efforts to protect illegal immigrants in New Jersey?
Does Governor Murphy hate the Jersey Shore and not value shore tourism or are shore communities a victim of Murphy’s war with other New Jersey Democrats? Is Murphy trying to strong arm shore communities into adhering to his efforts to make New Jersey a sanctuary state? Apparently only Murphy knows.
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