Affordability and lower taxes are pipe dreams for many New Jerseyans, although they hope for better days and greener pastures ahead.

The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have dealt a dagger to many businesses and left many residents in situations where they had to already contemplate living and working in the Garden State prior to 2020.

As the iconic and legendary Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra, who moved to New Jersey, said, "it gets late early out there."

New Jerseyans are hoping the light comes out of the darkness of the night sooner rather than later in terms of affordability and taxes.

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Republican Gubernatorial candidate for New Jersey Governor, Jack Ciattarelli, was at a home in Tuckerton on Thursday morning for a roundtable discussion hearing the concerns of Southern Ocean County residents with regard to property taxes, affordability and how small business owners are being impacted economically.

One of the main talking points and focuses for Ciattarelli Thursday and throughout his campaign is his vision to address New Jersey's financial woes which do include property taxes and the concerns of homeowners.

"What we're hearing from homeowners is what we've always heard from homeowners, property taxes are too high in New Jersey," Ciattarelli told Townsquare Media News on Thursday. "It's sad when you hear stories of people telling you that the monthly bill for property taxes is more than their mortgage ever was -- welcome to New Jersey -- but I'm here to say it doesn't have to be that way, we've got changes in mind for when I'm Governor that are going to allow people to live out their lives in their homes."

Two of the solutions Ciattarelli has in mind, he would enact as Governor, is freezing property taxes at age 65 and making all retirement income tax-free.

"Those are two things that would go a long way to making New Jersey more affordable for our senior citizens," Ciattareill said.

He has a mission of being "very clear" with his plans and how they would affect New Jerseyans and then trying to get the Legislature on board with these ideas.

"When I'm elected by the people of New Jersey, that says that they've endorsed my proposals so it's (would be) time for the Legislature to work in partnership with me to enact those proposals," Ciatarelli said. "If the Legislature doesn't, we'll put it on the ballot, let the people decide, let's have a constitutional amendment."

Residents from across Ocean County, Monmouth County, and the entire state have similar needs in some cases and different ones in other areas.

"When you're talking to senior citizens, they want to be able to continue to afford their home, so we've got to lower property taxes. When you talk to couples with small children, they want to know they're going to be able to get ahead and save for college. When you talk to young people, they want to know that they can get started here," Ciattarelli said. "I've got proposals all throughout my platform that speak to each one of those constituencies."

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