Tom Ballistreri and Manny Aponte, Republican candidates for at-large seats on the Atlantic County Board of Freeholders, said today that their opponent?s ?extensive record of support for tax and spending increases is an unmistakable sign that his solution to any problem is to extract even greater amounts of money from the taxpayers.?

?In 2005, Jim Schroeder enthusiastically supported legislation to increase taxes by $3.7 billion by raising the state income tax on everyone earning over $30,000 a year,? the Republicans said. ?He even went so far as to express his view that this kind of tax raising approach was necessary.

?He followed that a year later when he joined forces with the Fairness Alliance to support raising another $800 million by increasing the income tax and eliminating the state?s incentive program to attract businesses to locate in the state,? Ballistreri and Aponte said.

?Over the course of little more than a year, Schroeder supported raising income taxes by $4.5 billion and killing off a successful state program which was instrumental in bringing business development to the state — development which provided jobs for thousands and tax ratables for many municipalities,? they said.

?His approach to government is symptomatic of the free-spending philosophy which has created punishing tax burdens on the state?s taxpayers,? Ballistreri and Aponte said. ?He hasn?t suggested greater spending and fiscal restraint or budget reductions. His first and immediate reaction is to squeeze even greater sums out of the beleaguered taxpayer.?

The candidates said that Atlantic County enjoys the lowest county tax rate in its history and spending has been kept under control because of the diligence and vigilance of the Board of
Freeholders and the County Executive.

?Schroeder is on record as supporting billions in tax increases as a necessary step,? they said. ?We — and the taxpayers of the county — have a profound disagreement with that approach.

?Neither the Corzine Administration nor the Democrat-controlled Legislature has enacted any significant property tax relief programs despite their repeated promises to do so and, in fact, the current state budget implements serious reductions in state aid to local governments, forcing many municipalities to turn to their own taxpayers for additional resources,? they said. ?Schroeder is a part and parcel of that kind of government.?

?In Atlantic County, we enjoy a low tax rate and quality governmental service,? Ballistreri and Aponte said. ?We will keep it that way; Schroeder has made it clear that he won?t.?


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