TRENTON – Speaking at the League of Municipalities Annual Mayors’ Legislative Day conference today, Governor Jon S. Corzine addressed questions regarding a one-year moratorium on the 2.5% commercial developers’ fee and exempting projects that were in the pipeline before the fee was instituted.
“I am not interested in putting greater pressure on property taxes,” Governor Corzine said. “If it does then there is a greater reason for the deferral kind of step so that there is some relief for the local communities and the ability to stay away from property tax hikes in the midst of a recession. Leaving aside the public pension obligations that we will fulfill in more prosperous times, I think it’s the only responsible thing we can do.”
In his State of the State address yesterday, Governor Corzine also directed the Council of Affordable Housing board to allow for maximum flexibility and ample time for collaborative review of all the 240-plus affordable housing plans submitted by the 80% of the required municipalities.
“I have asked that this review process be extended as necessary to make sure that this review process meets our needs,” Governor Corzine said. “It is not exactly what you want but it is acknowledging that we have to be sensitive to the fact that this is a complicated process.”
“The objective that is built into the concept, and is part of how the Supreme Court assesses our Constitution, is that we have a responsibility to build affordable housing,” Governor Corzine said. “We have a responsibility based on the fundamental law of the State of New Jersey. I happen to agree that we ought to be providing broad access to affordable housing and we have a legal responsibility to do this.”
“We are going to try to be conscious of your needs,” Governor Corzine said. “Some of these decisions may not be popular but we have put off so many decisions in this State that we have ended up putting ourselves in a compromised position to deal with the fundamental needs of the people of our state.”