But this strategy was never going to constrain taxes, either at the state or the local level. Economic reality holds that when you subsidize something, you get more of it.
With its income tax, New Jersey has subsidized local property taxes -- and, thus, unsurprisingly, the state has gotten higher property taxes.
The only way to cut local property taxes for good is to cut local spending. Christie has started to do this work, but it's way too early to declare victory.
Sending out higher state checks to property owners to mask growing local spending won't aid in this work, but will hinder it, as it alleviates political pressure on local governments and on Trenton to cut local spending.
Anyway, practically speaking, New Jersey is so far in the pension hole, thanks to skipped pension contributions owed for past work, that if it happens to find extra money lying around, it should be spending many of those found dollars on plugging past pension liabilities.
Otherwise, everyone's taxes are going up when the pension bills come due, making the whole question moot.
Mulshine accidentally demonstrates one of the points in the Post piece. The Post op-ed notes of the proposed supersized property tax rebate that "this is pandering."
Mulshine's duly outraged reaction shows that pandering works, at least for some pundits.
If New Jersey voters enjoy the pandering too much, Christie will reward them with more of it, to the detriment of the Garden State's future -- because another immutable economic truth is that incentives work.
Mulshine ends by saying: