September 14, 2010
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES WELCOMES GOVERNOR’S ATTENTION TO PENSION AND BENEFITS ‘TIME BOMB’
With public employee pension and benefit costs imposing large and growing burdens on local budgets and property taxpayers, the State League of Municipalities welcomed the announcement of Governor Christie’s new Public Employee Pension and Benefits Reform Agenda.
“We salute the Governor and the Treasurer for their serious consideration of the magnitude of the problem,” said League Executive Director Bill Dressel. “Personnel costs are the leading driver of property taxes. And pension and benefit costs continue to grow faster than any other local budget line items.”
“The Governor can count on our support in moving many of these reforms forward,” said League President, Mayor Jim Anzaldi of Clifton. “We need to see action on management reforms and mandates relief initiatives immediately, so that local officials can cope with the new 2% cap next year. We need to see these new reform concepts introduced in bill form. Then, we need to see action on pension and benefits reform, so that we can continue to deliver high quality local services and long-term property tax relief, into the future.”
“We welcome the concepts outlined by the Governor today. Many of them build on recommendations that the League has made to previous Administrations over the years,” continued Mayor Anzaldi.
“The members of the Police and Fire system will continue to enjoy much more generous benefits than their colleagues in the public’s service,” said Dressel. “Those benefits are much more costly to our taxpayers.”
“With the noted exception of the disability pension reform proposal, the Governor’s recommendations fail to recognize the disparity between PERS and PFRS benefits and costs. We regret that the proposals do not do more to address that disparity. We hope that we can work with the Administration and the Legislature to correct that deficiency,” continued Dressel.
“Again, we want to thank Governor Christie for advancing solid concepts that can help to defuse the pension and benefits ticking time bomb,” concluded Mayor Anzaldi.
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For further information contact: William G. Dressel, Jr., Executive Director at (609)695-3481, extension 122 or 609-915-9072.