Last month, Governor Corzine signed the “caps and credits” and the CORE reform bills, officially marking the end of the Legislature’s months-long effort to end the property tax crisis. Our fellow citizens now know just what the Special Session has accomplished.
In a Quinnipiac University Poll, taken while the bills awaited consideration, 56 percent of voters
disapproved of the way the Governor is handling taxes, in general, while 34 percent approved. With regards to his handling of property taxes,
57 percent disapproved, while 33 percent approved. Concerning voter opinion on the Legislature’s work on property taxes, 68 percent disapproved and only 16 percent approved. In an open-ended question, 56 percent listed taxes as the most important problem facing New Jersey, while 42 percent chose property taxes, the highest mark for this issue in any Quinnipiac University poll in any state. Voters supported the 4 percent levy cap on property tax increases by a margin of 61 to 30 percent. But only 58 percent of those supporters, or 35 percent of all voters, backed the cap if it means cuts in services such as public safety and trash collection.
A Monmouth University/Gannet Newspaper poll, taken at about the same time, yielded similar results. Only 12 percent expected the current plan to bring long-term relief; while about half said that any savings to the taxpayer will disappear fairly quickly. Further, back in October 66 percent supported a constitutional convention to deal with property taxes if the Legislature did not pass “significant reform.” The recent poll indicates that the Special Session did not meet this threshold. Now, 62 percent feel that such a convention should be held. Only 28 percent opposed holding a convention and 10 percent were unsure.
To us, those numbers seem very “significant.”
Editorial from New Jersey
Municipalities, Volume 84, Number 5, May 2007