Click play for audio version of this story
Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz called on Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration to release vetting documents related to a tax break NJ Transit CEO earns for raising sheep at his Mendham Township Home.
“It’s time they step up and actually fix problems instead of attempting to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes,” said Munoz (R-Union). “Murphy and Corbett owe the truth to taxpayers and every rider stuck on a train or bus why fixing the problem isn’t getting undivided attention.”
Earlier this week, the New Jersey Globe reported Corbett pays just $900 annually on a 5.5 acres portion of his property because of a tax break granted by the state’s Farmland Assessment Act.
Anthony Grieco, the senior vice president for Communications and Customer Service at NJ Transit, told the New Jersey Globe that Corbett’s farm tax status was fully vetted at the time of the appointment and found to be in compliance with state law.
News of Corbett’s use of the subsidy has drawn fire from groups on either end of the political spectrum. Those from the right have largely focused on the problems that continue to plague NJ Transit, while those from the left have given some attention to the law that enabled Corbett’s farm subsidy.
“Corbett shows that it’s not how you farm land, it’s how you farm the government. He is one of many who have abused the Farmland Assessment Act,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Wealthy people avoid paying their fair share of property taxes that fall on other people to pay. This is another form of subsidizing wealth land owners at the expense of everyone else.”
Tittel claimed Corbett was operating a “fake farm” that allowed him to save tens of thousands on his property tax bill because he sold less than $1,000 worth of wool
Greico said Corbett’s farm operated at a loss but declined to offer specific revenue figures.
It’s unclear whether the losses Corbett suffers from raising sheep outweigh the value of the tax break.
“The fact that he is cutting corners and playing games on his taxes shows why NJ Transit is such a mess,” Tittel said. “When Corbett doesn’t pay, everyone else does.”