RELEASE: Gottheimer Announces 357% Increase in Federal Tax Dollars Clawed Back from Washington to Jersey to Help Lower Property Taxes & Make Life More Affordable

Releases new North Jersey reporting of federal dollars clawed back from the Moocher States to support local firefighters, law enforcement, EMTs. Average savings of more than $750 dollars per Fifth District household for 2021 alone.

 

Above: Gottheimer announcing new Return on Investment reporting on the federal tax dollars clawed back to the Fifth District since 2016.

ORADELL, NJ — Today, Wednesday, August 17, 2022, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) announced that New Jersey’s Fifth District has clawed 357% more federal tax dollars back from Washington and the Moocher States since taking office. For 2021 alone, the federal tax dollars clawed back amount to an average savings of more than $750 for each household in the Fifth District.

Through Gottheimer’s work with mayors, councils, first responders, and nonprofits, the Fifth District has realized a far better Return on Investment on the tax dollars North Jersey residents send to Washington every year.

Today, Gottheimer highlighted successes across the Fifth District, particularly with the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, the LESO 1033 excess resources program, USDA Rural Development (RD) grants, Community Oriented Policing Services Program (COPS), and FEMA Non-Profit Security Grant program (NSGP).

In Congress, Gottheimer has helped lead efforts to stop the end of the LESO 1033 excess resources program from helping local first responders access equipment they need.

Gottheimer visited the Oradell Police Department today to highlight how the LESO 1033 program, AFG program, and the GSA Federal Surplus Property Program have helped the Borough’s Police Department and Volunteer Fire Department claw back resources to help keep themselves and the community safe, including helping the Borough’s first responders acquire flood lights, generators, an ATV and snowblower, trucks, boats, and a waterdog to carry and transport 325 gallons of water. Since 2020, the Oradell Volunteer Fire Department has clawed back more than $200,000 from Washington through the AFG program.

“I am proud to announce today that we are now up 357 percent in our federal tax dollars that we’ve clawed back to Jersey from Washington, helping to lower our property taxes, to make life more affordable and safer, and to improve the Fifth District in so many ways. In fact, in 2021 alone, we clawed back more than $750 for every single North Jersey household — dollars going back into the pockets of our hardworking families when they need them most,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “We’ve clawed back dollars from the Moocher States to help us here, to help firefighters put out a blaze, help law enforcement protect us from terror, and protect the children in our schools. That’s more federal tax dollars clawed back from Washington for storm clean-up, generators, and trucks, boats for floods, repairs, gear to help EMTs, and help emergency management. And by clawing back more to Jersey, our mayors, councils, and first responders have lifted significant costs off of our town budgets and helped provide critical tax relief to our residents on their property tax line — it’s a win-win for us all.”

Gottheimer was joined at the Oradell Police Department today by Oradell Council President Tracy Schoenberg, Lt. David Gangemi, Sgt. Roger Pressburger, Ptl. Thomas Damato, and local first responders.

Gottheimer and his Return on Investment team have visited all 79 towns in the Fifth District to raise awareness of the availability of federal grant dollars, written congressional letters of support, convened 15 Mayor Summits to train local leaders on how to apply for grants, hosted 15 grant workshops, sent thousands of letters and scores of emails to local leaders, and held more than 600 meetings with local officials.

Local officials and first responders interested in applying for federal grants can learn more on Gottheimer's website and are encouraged to contact Gottheimer’s Glen Rock office at 201-389-1100.

Gottheimer’s new Return on Investment Report for 2021 can be found here.

Video of the announcement can be found here.

Below: Gottheimer announcing new Return on Investment reporting on the federal tax dollars clawed back to the Fifth District since 2016.

 

 

 
Gottheimer’s full remarks as prepared for delivery are below.
 
It’s great to be back here in Oradell at the Police Department with our heroic first responders and local elected officials to highlight the federal dollars we’ve clawed back to Jersey from Washington and the Moocher States to help cut property taxes and protect our firefighters, law enforcement, EMTs, religious institutions, and all of our families.  
 
When I first ran for Congress nearly six years ago, I realized that since the state, county, and localities set tax rates, one of the best things I could do to get taxes down was to fight so that more of the tax dollars we sent to Washington came back to Jersey. My predecessor didn’t believe in this approach, so we were leaving gobs of federal grants, equipment, and other dollars on the table every year for the simple reason that we weren’t applying. And someone was taking them. It’s not like those dollars disappeared. 
 
On the contrary, our federal tax dollars kept getting shipped to Moocher States like Mississippi and Alabama — they got millions in grants to help pay for police cars, fire trucks, and equipment for first responders. This helped them offset town budgets, and to — in turn — lower their state and local taxes. In fact, for every dollar Mississippi and West Virginia sent to Washington, they have historically gotten $4.38 and $4.23 back. In Jersey, we were getting about 67 cents for every dollar we sent. The Moocher States got lots of relief on their local and property taxes — and we paid retail. What a joke.  
 
You see, there are all of these grant programs out there for everything from security grants to protect churches, temples, and mosques; and investments to better equip, recruit, and pay our first responders; and, historically, we just hadn’t applied for many of them. And my predecessor just didn’t bother to push for them.
 
So, working together, we took a different approach and fought for what we deserved here.  Together, our mayors and councils, county officials, and our police and fire chiefs and departments, and with my Director of Return on Investments, a full time position in my office, we started applying and fighting for that return we deserved, especially given what we pay — which, I believe, is far too high at every level — federal, state, and local, you name it. As my dad has always said, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.  
 
The results of our efforts togethers are remarkable. By working with mayors, councils, first responders, colleges, nonprofits, and religious institutions, I am proud to announce today that we are now up 357 percent in our federal tax dollars that we’ve clawed back to Jersey from Washington, helping to lower our property taxes, to make life more affordable and safer, and to improve the Fifth District in so many ways.  In fact, in 2021 alone, we clawed back more than $750 for every single North Jersey household in 2021 alone — dollars going back into the pockets of our hardworking families when they need them most.
 
And, by the way, the 357 percent ROI — our return on investment — that I’m announcing today — is only through 2021 — the last full calendar year. 
 
And it doesn’t include the recently-enacted, once-in-a-century Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill I helped pass, including resources to build the new Gateway Train Tunnel, fix our crumbling roads, bridges, and NJ Transit, address storm resiliency, and help get lead out of our children’s drinking water. Bringing this major investment to our community will also help reduce the cost burden on our state and local governments. It doesn’t include the bipartisan win to build semiconductors in the United States, or the savings signed on prescription drugs and energy signed into law just yesterday. 
 
The bottom line: We have so much going for us here in Northern New Jersey — excellent schools with teachers that we invest in; safe communities, with the best firefighters and cops in the country; a hard-working and brilliant workforce; proximity to New York City, lakes, beaches, parks, ski mountains, and so much more. But making life more affordable and lowering property taxes is key.
 
Now, let’s talk about what our towns and counties have clawed back to the district — which programs we've utilized — and how it has helped protect our families and first responders. 
 
There are a few major ROI programs I’d like to focus on — the LESO, or 1033 program, which delivers surplus government equipment and supplies like trucks and computers to our towns. The GSA Federal Surplus Property Program, which allows municipalities to obtain surplus supplies and equipment for no cost to help offset town budgets and save tax dollars – for items they would have to purchase through property taxes. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant, or AFG program, helps our departments cover the costs of life-saving firefighting equipment, from trucks to the air-packs on their backs. 
 
The SAFER grant program helps fire departments recruit and retain volunteer firefighters, which is particularly tough these days. The COPS program helps our towns pay for law enforcement officers and helps protect our communities. 
 
There is also the Nonprofit Security Grant Program which helps our parochial schools and religious institutions provide critical security — our churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and community organizations. And then there are several other key grant programs that support our nonprofits, Head Start, you name it. 
 
For instance, in 2021, fifteen organizations throughout our District — houses of worship, schools, and local community organizations — clawed back a total of $2.l million in federal investment — the largest award ever for the Fifth District and the largest award of every Congressional District in our State. This will provide security for churches, mosques, temples, religious schools, and other organizations that are at risk of a terrorist attack from homegrown and lone-wolf ISIS-inspired terrorists and white supremacists.
 
For counties in the Fifth District, we clawed back $77 million for Head Start in 2021.
 
And just in the past weeks, Ramapo College clawed back a $450,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Grant to produce free-access, digital editions of historic documents, letters, and writings.
 
Of course, the CARES packages in 2020, and the American Rescue Plan from last year, provided critical relief for our communities — for our hospitals, vaccine deployment, relief for families, small businesses, counties, and towns, and key investment for broadband and sewer. It even clawed back $1.8 million directly to Sussex County’s government to reimburse COVID related expenditures which helped lift a financial burden off the County’s budget. These dollars have been particularly important, as our county and town budgets were stretched to the max, as we dealt with the darkest days of the pandemic. 
 
Just behind us are real word examples of how these grant dollars recently helped our first responders.
 
Right here in Oradell, the LESO and AFG grant programs and the GSA Federal Surplus Property Program have helped the Police Department and Volunteer Fire Department claw back resources to help keep themselves and all of us in the community safe. 
 
For example, we have clawed back from Washington more than $600,000 in 2021 through LESO and GSA for the Oradell Police Department. This has helped them acquire multiple vehicles and equipment including flood lights, generators, an ATV and snowblower, trucks, boats, and a waterdog which can carry and transport 325 gallons of water.
 
These resources have been key to keeping Oradell and the surrounding community safe throughout storms and emergency situations.
 
West Milford Fire Department, Paramus, Old Tappan, Westwood, Hackensack, Park Ridge — have all gotten resources and equipment. 
 
I was just in Vernon at the Glenwood Pochuck Volunteer Ambulance Corp, and in Township of Washington in Bergen County.
 
Much of this equipment, if not recouped by our towns, will either go to other states or be destroyed.
 
The LESO excess equipment program also includes items like flashlights and first aid kits, even high-water vehicles for our first responders, and electrical generators for emergency responders and families who lose power during major storms, which have been utilized by our towns many times over the last few years. It also includes basic supplies like copiers and computers. To keep our communities safe, we have to make sure our first responders are equipped with the investments and resources they need.
 
I remember after Hurricane Ida devastated so many of our towns, several of our communities utilized the high-water vehicles they received from the LESO program — like surplus Humvees and transport trucks — to reach people. Others utilized ambulances from the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant to transport and save the lives of those who were injured; and many fire and EMS departments are better staffed thanks to the SAFER Grants — staff who went on to literally save those from being swept away after they fell through collapsed bridges or washed-out roads. 
 
We’ve clawed back dollars from the Moocher States to help us here, to help firefighters put out a blaze, help law enforcement protect us from terror, and protect the children in our schools. In fact, since 2020, we’ve clawed back from Washington more than $200,000 through the AFG program for the Oradell Volunteer Fire Department alone.
 
That’s more federal tax dollars clawed back from Washington for storm clean-up, generators, and trucks, boats for floods, repairs, gear to help EMTs, and help emergency management. And by clawing back more to Jersey, our mayors, councils, and first responders have lifted significant costs off of our town budgets and helped provide critical tax relief to our residents on their property tax line — it’s a win-win for us all.
 
With today’s announcement, North Jersey has now had a 357 percent increase in the federal tax dollars we’ve clawed back from Washington to the Fifth District since 2016 — a savings of more than $750 for every household in the Fifth District this past calendar year alone.
 
And, as I’ve been since day one, I’m committed to rooting out all wasteful government spending and to do everything possible to cut our taxes.
 
We’ve held Mayor’s Summits in Washington and many grant workshops, sent thousands of letters and scores of emails, met with local officials, and visited every town — all to make sure that towns know about approaching deadlines and best practices for applying for federal grants.
 
Getting our tax dollars back home is not a Democrat or Republican issue — it’s a purely what’s good for hardworking Jersey families and businesses issue, and it’s about cutting taxes and helping make life more affordable.
 
If you have any questions, now or in the future, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. We are always available to help. 
 
North Jersey residents know that every bit helps when it comes to lowering taxes, and I will continue to fight to claw back dollars from Washington. 
 
By all of us working together, to get more federal dollars back to North Jersey, I know that our best days will always be ahead of us.
 
Thank you, God bless you, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.
 
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