CivicStoryPublic Forum
Rethinking Taxes: Can we restructure, what’s reasonable, what’s next?

April 4, 2018
Venue: Summit Public Library, 75 Maple Street, Summit, NJ

The 'what, why, and how' of taxes in NJ is described in vivid and sometimes humorous terms by four legal and financial experts: Claire Toth, VP of Point View Wealth Management; Frank Bolden, Retired VP Diversity, Worldwide, for Johnson & Johnson; John Reitmeyer, Reporter for NJ Spotlight; and Jerry Webman, Retired Chief Economist, OppenheimerFunds. The half-hour video includes highlights from the April 4 public forum entitled "Rethinking Taxes: can we restructure, what's reasonable, what's next," presented by CivicStory at the Summit Free Public Library. 

Toth takes the first stab at untangling our complex tax policies: "With taxes you want fair, you want easy, and you also want something that's fairly easy for the government to enforce.  I'd be happy with two out of three." 

Webman takes issue with "things built into the tax code that create irrationality, that create unfairness, that some people can take advantage of and others can't." But he affirms the idea that "we have a responsibility as citizens to promote what is in our fellow citizens' best interest, even if we disagree about what that might be."


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Frank Bolden's thirty-year career with Johnson & Johnson included roles as Assistant General Counsel, Secretary, and Vice President Diversity World Wide. Currently Chair of the national Board of Directors of the United Church of Christ, he has chaired the boards of the University of Vermont, Union County College, Overlook Hospital, Crossroads Theater, and Christ Church, Summit. 


John Reitmeyer currently serves as the public finance writer for NJ During past years, he has worked for the Atlantic City Press, Burlington County Times and Bergen Record. John majored in history with a focus on classical studies,and minored in Journalism at The College of New Jersey.

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Claire Toth is Vice President of Point View Wealth Management.  Also Of Counsel to Bourne, Noll & Kenyon, she was previously Of Counsel with Herold and Haines in Warren, and formerly worked with the U.S. Treasury Department on tax regulation. She received her A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of Chicago, and a Masters of Law in Taxation from Georgetown University. 


Jerry Webman retired as Chief Economist at Oppenheimer Funds and formerly served as the firm's Director of Fixed Income Investments. He was previously an assistant professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University. Webman holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University. 



Welcome:        Josh Stiles, Board President, CivicStory
Introduction:    Susan Haig, Founder & Creative Director, CivicStory
                        Dr. Robert Rubino, MD

7:10 to 8:15     Dialogue:
                        What is civics?   What is economy?
                        What and why do we tax? What kind of society do we want?
                        Taxes can finance education, health care, roads, transportation, sanitation, public safety, legal and justice systems,  Medicare, military, Veterans' services, scientific           research, culture and arts, workings of government, pensions, unemployment benefits, social security, drinking water, waste management, and other services..

                         Corporate tax ~ Consumption tax
                         Estate tax  ~  Flat tax ~ Gift tax
                         Goods & services tax (GST)   
                         Income tax ~ Inheritance tax ~ Capital gains tax
                         Land tax (Land Value Tax- LVT), “Single Tax” (Henry George)
                         Property tax
                         Sales tax ~ Value added tax

8:15 to 8:40     Q & A, followed by refreshments.     

THANK YOU to all the individuals and organizations making this forum possible!

  • The Summit Area Public Foundation
  • Our speakers for taking time to share their insights and experience
  • CivicStory's board, donors, volunteers, and sponsors for supporting CivicStory's mission