Morning News Digest: May 14, 2009

GOP candidates Christie, Lonegan push N.J. income tax plans

TRENTON — Fresh from their first televised debate, the leading Republican candidates for governor today pushed their respective income tax prescriptions for New Jersey. (Heininger, Star-Ledger)

N.J. groups ask Gov. Corzine to fix budget woes by taxing rich residents more

TRENTON — A coalition of labor unions, environmental groups and other liberal organizations is asking Gov. Jon Corzine to fix the state's budget problems by raising taxes on the wealthy. (Reitmeyer, Star-Ledger)

GOP group airs attack ads against Gov. Jon Corzine

TRENTON — Attack ad season in New Jersey is getting started before the gubernatorial primary election is over. (AP)

Washington Twp. school budget cut $300G

WASHINGTON TWP. Preventing even more teachers from losing their jobs, the township council on Wednesday voted to eliminate about $300,000 worth of salaries and benefits for currently vacant positions from the school district's defeated budget. (Beym, Gloucester County Times)

New Jersey tree-escrow ordinance upheld

The New Jersey Supreme Court yesterday upheld an ordinance in Jackson Township that requires housing developers to replace the trees they remove or pay into a special "tree escrow fund." (Graham, Inquirer)

N.J. voters support open-space bond

About six in 10 likely voters in New Jersey would support a $600 million state bond measure to support the preservation of open space, farmland, and historic sites, according to a new poll. (Lu, Inquirer)

Wayne Council tackles school budget

WAYNE — The Township Council ordered $1.75 million cut from the voter-defeated school tax levy during a packed meeting tonight and recommended a series of budget reductions that officials said would not harm education. (Alexander, Record)

$8.7B commuter tunnel construction to begin soon

Construction of an $8.7 billion commuter tunnel to Manhattan will begin within weeks now that NJ Transit has awarded the project’s first building contract. (Davis, Record)

20,033 area homeowners appeal taxes

For months, Kenny Vu played phone tag with real estate appraisers, squinted at charts listing property valuations for his neighborhood and pounded figures into his calculator before composing spreadsheets. (Penton, APP)

Sales-tax distribution error affects 37 New Jersey towns

VINELAND — The state government has reclaimed $40 million in sales tax money mistakenly sent to 37 New Jersey towns that have Urban Enterprise Zones. (Walsh, Press of Atlantic City)

Booker tells RVCC Class of 2009 to 'choose positive energy'

BRANCHBURG — The mayor of the state's largest city told the graduating class of Somerset and Hunterdon County's community college Wednesday that "the tassel is worth the hassle." (O’Brien, Courier News)

N.J. voters may get say on land bond

Jersey voters, who have a strong track record of supporting land preservation, would get the chance to decide the issue again in November if lawmakers allow a ballot question asking them to replenish a fund with $600 million for land buys and preservation. (Delli Santi, AP)

Lonegan wants voters to judge the judges

FLEMINGTON – You don’t have to look beyond a stuffed trophy on the wall at the Croton Rod and Gun Club to know they mean business here, as it’s not just the bear head but a torso, arms and paws jutting out of the paneling over the bar and baseball caps and one straw cowboy hat perched on a delighted audience member who claps again as gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan tears into another subject. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Morning News Digest: May 14, 2009