July 13, 2010
2% CAP IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF TRUE PROPERTY TAX REFORM,
NOT THE END
Today, Governor Christie signed S-29, which implements a tax levy cap from 4% to 2%. In his statement on the bill signing Governor Christie noted that he “…look[s] forward to continuing to work with…members of both parties in the legislature to enact the necessary tool kit reforms to control costs and empower local governments to effectively manage under this new cap."
League Executive Director Bill Dressel issued the following statement:
“The signing of S-29 is only the first step of property tax reform if only further and more substantive reforms are to follow. If not, then it will be just another of a long line of failed efforts to address the real cost drivers of property taxes which will ultimately result in higher taxes and reduced services. We look forward to the Administration and Legislation working together over the summer to enact the necessary management reforms to make the 2% cap a workable cap for municipalities. ”
“Caps do not address the real cost drivers confronted by local leaders. A hard 2% cap is, as the Governor said ‘unworkable,’ without the toolkit. No one can declare the cap a victory for reform, until the toolkit reforms are passed. Now that the proverbial cart has been placed before the horse, the Legislature and Administration must immediately prioritize and pass the toolkit reforms.
For years local leaders have called for reform, including binding arbitration reform, COAH reform, health benefits reform, mandates relief, civil service reform, revenue replacement funding compliance, 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.
“True tax reform is not yet done. We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature over the summer to address management reforms to the true cost drivers of municipal budgets”
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For further information contact: William G. Dressel, Jr., Executive Director at (609)695-3481, extension 122 or 609-915-9072.