Independent adviser rules Corzine’s plan to gut the arts is unconstitutional

The nonpartisan adviser to the state Legislature has concluded Gov. Jon Corzine’s plan to help fund the general budget by using tax revenue that has traditionally gone to the arts, tourism and Shore protection may be unconstitutional.

New Jersey legislators enacted a hotel/motel room tax, a portion of which is dedicated to funding the arts as well as beach replenishment. This tax which hits mostly tourists helps ensure that there is a reason for tourists to come to Jersey.

It has a fail-safe mechanism in place whereby if some short-sighted politician such as Corzine decides to raid the arts and tourism portion of the money, the tax is nixed.

Understand that for every dollar spent on the arts, the state rakes in somethng like $80. This is better than any investment return from Goldman-Sachs!

Good news to the arts and tourism industry – what we have been saying all along has been vindicated. Corzine is not allowed to act autonomously, in defiance of the laws put in place by our duly elected legislators. This is not, contrary to Corzine’s belief, a dictatorship.

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