Why is the nearly-bankrupt state of New Jersey providing 'Farm Aid' to multi-millionaires like Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi?
Springsteen and Bon Jovi, two of the biggest names in New Jersey as well as rock and roll have often been called 'average Joes', and 'working man' types of rockers. But they travel the world in private planes, work when they want to work, and live in mansions surrounded by electronically-monitored gates that most of their fans can only drive past, hoping to catch a glimpse of their heroes.
Springsteen and Bon Jovi are also gaming the system in New Jersey by claiming special 'farm exemptions' in order to avoid paying the typical taxes on their property.
- Thanks to a tax exemption for beekeepers Bon Jovi pays a paltry $104 dollars on 6.8 acres of land in Monmouth County.
- Springsteen also found a favorable exemption to help him avoid the standard tax rates on the 200+ acres he uses as a buffer zone around his three-acre home. Because an organic farmer works part of the land, Bruce is charged less than $5000 each year.
Neither of these gentlemen are doing anything illegal. Their tax filings are within the law.
The New York City Fox affiliate filed this report in February, explaining it quite clearly;
Late last month Bruce Springsteen made headlines with a front-page Chris Christie attack Op-Ed in the Asbury Park Press. Mr. Springsteen, a New Jersey resident was obviously concerned about the Governor's budget cuts;
'The cuts are eating away at the lower edges of the middle class, not just those already classified as in poverty, and are likely to continue to get worse over the next few years.'
Perhaps New Jersey would not be burdened with massive debt and facing difficult choices about cutting the state's budget if Mr. Springsteen, Mr. Bon Jovi and those who use these tax loop holes to avoid paying their fair share would step up and urge the politicians to amend the law.
The Garden State's legislators could raise considerable revenue by closing these loop holes, or updating these obviously antiquated laws, while still protecting real farmers.
Lawyers for the wealthy whiners might contend that these folks are only doing what gigantic corporations like GE do when they earn $14 billion in profits, but pay almost no taxes.
It should also be noted that like GE, Springsteen and Bon Jovi have close ties to the Obama administration.
Recently honored with a Kennedy Center Award, the President said this about Springsteen;
In December of 2010 Jon Bon Jovi was named to the White House Council on Community Services. The PSA below actually plays before Bon Jovi takes the stage;