New Jersey Man Launches Protest With Pennies

LYNDHURST, NJ (WCBS 880) – Sam Corkin hopes big changes will come about from his small change. He’s had it with property tax increases in Lyndhurst, as WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Sean Adams with Sam Corkin

“I didn’t want to make a sign and protest,” Corkin he told Sean Adams. “So, I protested with pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters!”

He filled a black plastic bucket with $385.66 (the amount of his latest increase) and marched down to the tax collector’s office.

Corkin says he was told “You’re short.” and replied “No. No. It’s in the bucket here.”

The tax collector wouldn’t accept the loose change. Corkin had to go to the bank to get cash.

The retired computer system designer wanted to drive home a point about senior citizens trying to keep up with tax increases.

The mayor tells The Record that they are going to try to reassess home values.

  • Mark Corkin

    BTW, his last name is ‘Corkin’. Worked his of for 35 years to pay off the house and send 3 kids to school. Now his taxes have raised from 6k to 9k in 3 years during retirement. Go Dad! Next year try for all pennies.

  • CAW

    TAX TAX TAX, oink oink oink, piggy’s hungry

  • jw

    The problem in Bergen county is all the little towns have their own independent police forces, instead of sharing regional resources. All these extra police chief salaries for towns of a few thousand, in the most densely populated region in the country is expensive. that is why property tax on a typical house is $500 a month to beyond $1000.

  • Jim Timmings

    This article and a related story within the last two weeks on Northern Jersey towns considering reassessments, both seem to be proposing that by performing a reassessment taxes will unquestionably go down.

    This is not a given. Lower assessments DO NOT equal lower taxes.

    Let me explain, Assessments are simply the method by which governments distribute the financial burden of government, TAXES.

    The principle is that real estate values are most dependable/stable method of fairly distributing that burden.

    Assessments are the local government’s opinion of your real property value.

    The government and school budgets are then divided up amongst the population according to their property’s value (assessment). Yes renters pay too through their rents so they should also be interested in this.

    The math works generally as follows;

    Spending divided by Assessments Total equals Tax Rate.

    $100 million budget divided by $10 million assessment total equals a Tax Rate of $10, per assessment dollar. So if your assessment is $100 your tax bill is $100 X $10 = $1,000. All these individual bills add up to the total tax bill of $100 million.

    Now lets say values are down, so your assessment is reduced by 50%, wow great you think, NO, everyone’s assessment is down because values are down generally.

    So we have a total assessment roll of $10 million now restated as $5 million, a 50% cut. The budget is still $100 million, so the only thing that changes is the TAX RATE. $100 million divided by $5 million total assessments(50% cut) = A tax rate of $20. So your assessment was reduced from above $100 by 50% to $50. We have your new tax bill of $50 (your assessment) X $20 new tax rate = $1,000….. HUH, same bill how could that be???

    They did not cut spending!


    A- total assessments increase tremendously by adding more value, ie new construction, widening the tax base by adding more people to pay the existing bill.

    Or B- Municipal spending decreases drastically thereby reducing the burden placed on the assessments,

    Re assessing will only serve to shift tax burden, NOT REDUCE it.

    In mature communities which are typical of the tristate area, there is little or no growth possible which would be significant enough to lower the tax burden simply by assessment growth.

    It should be understood by taxpayers and elected officials that,

    A- Reassessment does need to be done in order to fairly distribute the tax burden.

    B- It will not in and of itself reduce taxes.

  • Sal

    How about reasessing BEFORE raising taxes???

  • John

    I thought all money was legal tender and had to be accepted

  • Jamey

    How much more is Mr Corcan’s home worth now over what he paid for it when he bought it?

    Sorry that you want to have your cake and eat it too, Mr Corcan, but as a fellow taxpayer, I’m ill-at-ease over having to subsidize your windfall investment.

    • George

      I am not sure how you can call it a “windfall investment” since the article does not provide the purchase date, price or current value. But let us assume he has owned the property for 30 years and has paid off his 30 year mortgage. What do you suppose his windfall is after taking into account the property taxes, mortgage interest, insurance and up keep on the house he has paid for the last 30 years. He is not asking you to subsidize anything, just trying to make the point that he does not want to be taxed out of his home because of ever growing property tax increases due to the extreme waste and corruption that exists in NJ today.

  • chris

    It’s legal tender – the tax collector – aka THE SHERIFF – was required to accept his payment. If nothing else, pay the bill in single dollar bills.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live