On Tuesday, January 9, in Trenton,
Governor Corzine delivered his annual State of the State address. Property tax relief and reform provided the primary—and almost exclusive—focus of the remarks.
In his July, 2006 speech opening the Special Session, the main message that the Governor sent to the Legislature was “The time has come.”
In the January speech, the main message he sent to the people of New Jersey was, “The time is coming.”
Twenty days later, with the Assembly ready to vote on some major components of the plan, he told State House reporters, “In the first year I don’t think it will be a great break from the 6 percent to 7 percent (average annual tax increase), but then it should be moving down each year.’’ We note the Governor said, “It should.” Not “it will.”
So, as this is being written, the Governor’s last word on meaningful property tax relief—let alone reform—emanating from the Special Session was, “Wait ‘til next year.”
The citizens of this state need to be given the opportunity to judge the sufficiency of this process. And they need to be given that opportunity THIS YEAR.
Some, who happen to live in politically competitive districts, will have that chance. ALL the property taxpayers of New Jersey will have it only if this Governor, this Senate President and this Assembly Speaker advance legislation that will, at long last, allow the voters to decide whether or not they want to convene a Citizens Convention for Property Tax Reform.
If the people of New Jersey are satisfied with the outcome of the Special Session, they will vote “No” on the Convention question this November. But, they will only be given a chance to say if they are not satisfied, if our leaders in Trenton advance the question.
Governor Corzine, Senate President Codey, Speaker Roberts. You’ve given this crisis your best, honest effort. Please ask the people if they are satisfied. Please, LET THE PEOPLE SPEAK
Editorial from New Jersey
Municipalities, Volume 84, Number 2, March 2007