July 19, 2010
LEAGUE SALUTES SENATOR SARLO AS BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE TAKES THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS TOOLKIT REFORM
Today in Trenton, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee began work on several bills that are meant to enact provisions of Governor Christie’s toolkit reforms. The League was present to provide the municipal perspective on these bills. Further Senate hearings are scheduled for August 12 and 16, with a Senate voting session to follow on August 23.
League Third Vice President, Mayor Janice Mironov of East Windsor, and League Executive Board Member, Mayor Ron Sworen of Frenchtown, urged the Committee to move beyond the proposals on today’s agenda and to focus on issues like the State’s retention of Energy Tax property tax relief funding, arbitration reforms, further civil service reforms and cap considerations regarding the reserve for uncollected taxes and the burden of assessment appeals.
Both Mayors thanked Senator Sarlo and the Committee members for taking the lead on advancing real property tax relief reforms.
Mayor Mironov told the Committee, “The Governor was right when he said, ‘New caps without the toolkit are unworkable.’ Having reached agreement on unworkable new caps, the Trenton establishment needs to get serious about the struggle against oppressive, regressive property taxes. Local officials need to see action on the toolkit management reforms and on mandates relief initiatives. Local taxpayers need assurances that the Trenton establishment will end the diversion of vital municipal revenue replacement funding, such as the Energy Tax, which was never intended for State use
“Real reform takes more than caps and revenue replacement funding cuts, neither of which do anything to address New Jersey’s property tax burden, which is worst in the nation. The caps will only slow the growth of the burden. They will not reduce it. And the cuts are no help at all.”
“No elected official ever wants to raise taxes,” said Mayor Sworen. “But the State sets tax policy for all New Jersey governments. And only State action can provide true local property tax reform.
“Local officials need real solutions to real cost drivers, whether they are inside or outside any arbitrary cap. They need to know that the State will honor its promise of property tax relief revenue replacement funding. Only real reforms can provide immediate and sustainable property tax relief. Only the State can deliver real reforms.”
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For further information contact: William G. Dressel, Jr., Executive Director at (609)695-3481, extension 122 or 609-915-9072.