June 30, 2010
EMPTY TOOLBOX + CAP = UNWORKABLE
During Q&A yesterday after the signing of the Fiscal Year 2011 Budget, Governor Christie made the following statement,
“It’s not just the cap. It’s the toolkit as well. Both must be done. One cannot be done without the other. If you do the toolkit without the cap, it renders the toolkit less effective. If you do the cap without the toolkit, it makes the cap unworkable. Both have to be done together.”
The League of Municipalities agrees.
The League Executive Board has voted to support property tax levy cap reform, if and only if it is moved as the final piece, not the centerpiece, of vital property tax relief initiatives. Such initiatives include binding arbitration reform, COAH reform, health benefits reform, mandates relief, civil service reform, flexibility to deal with pension costs, utility costs, disaster and emergency response costs and other costs imposed by factors beyond the control of local leaders, and conformity of any new local caps to a new State spending cap. When the Governor introduced the budget, municipal property tax relief funding cuts ($450 million) were on the table. When the Legislature passed the budget, municipal property tax relief funding cuts ($450 million) were on the table. The Governor has put a 2.5% constitutional cap on the table. The Democrats have put a 2.9% statutory cap on the Governor’s desk. Local governments need more than cuts and caps.
League Executive Director Bill Dressel offered the following statement,
“We commend the Governor for recognizing the need to link a cap with tools. Any tax levy cap implemented without the needed reforms in the toolkit renders the cap unworkable. An empty toolbox means draconian cuts in local services. This is an historic opportunity, and we call on the Governor and the Legislature to provide local governments the tools to keep costs down.”
For more information contact: William G. Dressel, Jr., Executive Director
(609) 695-3481 x122
(609) 915-9072 (cell)