Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Do You Know How Much THIS Is Costing YOU?

New Jersey State Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) again called for legislative Democrats to join her in moving sick leave reforms following reports that property taxpayers will be on the hook for a potentially record-breaking payout of more than half-a-million dollars for unused days to Jersey City’s retiring police chief.

Sen. Jennifer Beck called on the Democratic leadership of the Legislature to allow sick leave reforms to advance following reports of a potentially record breaking payout of more than $500,000 to Jersey City’s retiring police chief. (Flickr)
“How many six-figure sick leave payouts must fall on the shoulders of property taxpayers before the Democratic leadership of the New Jersey Legislature will allow votes on reform legislation to end this anachronistic practice?” Beck asked. “New Jersey property taxpayers cannot afford to make $500,000 payments to retiring employees when their tax bills are already the highest in the nation.”

According to the Jersey Journal, the police chief is retiring with 450 unused days that are valued at $512,620 in the city’s proposed budget (see page 10).

A previous report by NJ Spotlight on March 31 examined the nearly $2 billion liability of school districts, town, and counties statewide for accumulated absences. That piece, published prior to the chief’s retirement announcement, noted that, “When he retires, Jersey City’s police chief could set a new record for payout.”

Jersey City receives around $420 million in school aid and $63 million in municipal aid from the state annually at the expense of taxpayers from across New Jersey.

“While every six-figure sick leave payout is egregious, it’s even worse when it’s to an employee of a municipality that is heavily subsidized by state taxpayers living elsewhere,” added Beck. “Monmouth County residents who struggle to pay their own property tax bills will end up paying for the Jersey City police chief’s $500,000 retirement check. I’ll continue to fight for sick leave reform for as long as it takes to make New Jersey Democrats do the right thing for property taxpayers.”

In a recent letter, Beck joined with Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) and Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) to urge the Senate President and Assembly Speaker to advance any of the fifteen different bills, including Beck’s S-2947, that have been introduced by both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and General Assembly that seek to achieve vacation and sick leave reform in some fashion.

To see the accumulated absence liability for your town’s property taxpayers, click here.

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