Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mayors Tell Jersey Legislators: Cap Our Spending

Yesterday, dozens of mayors from across New Jersey assembled in the State Capital to call on the state legislature to take immediate action this legislative session on the Christie Cap 2.5 Reform Agenda. The mayors joined Governor Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno to stand up and emphasize their support for the Governor’s Cap 2.5 Reform Agenda to deliver real, long-term and permanent property tax relief as a constitutional amendment.
“The broad support from leaders across political parties, in urban and suburban towns and across every part of the state for Cap 2.5 clearly shows that property tax reform is not a partisan issue,” said Governor Chris Christie. “The reform I’m proposing takes the power from politicians in Trenton and puts in back in the hands of the people and their local leadership. It is a comprehensive and permanent solution that the legislature must act now to give the people of New Jersey the opportunity to vote on.”
Mayors understand that Trenton’s inaction and failure to comprehensively address the property tax crisis in New Jersey have tied their hands and crippled their ability to control the upward pressure of skyrocketing costs. Mayors are standing up to demand action in this legislative session on a constitutional limit on property taxes that cannot be taken away by politicians and the tool kit of reforms to make the cap achievable.
210 mayors from every corner of the state and across political parties have endorsed the Christie Reform Agenda. A full list can be viewed on the Governor’s Cap 2.5 Reform Agenda Website.
“Trenton has failed to control property taxes in New Jersey, plain and simple. The numbers speak for themselves: a 70 percent increase in property taxes over the last decade and local spending that has risen by 68 percent over the same period,” said Franklin Township Mayor Brian Levine. “The status quo in Trenton has shown itself unwilling or unable to deliver a solution that gets at underlying issues of cost-control. Mayors refuse to wait any longer for half-steps and incomplete solutions. We are calling on the legislature to pass the Cap 2.5 constitutional amendment and Christie Reform Agenda in this legislative session.”
“Mayors are on the front line of the property tax crisis every day and witness the devastating impact the highest-in-the-nation property taxes have had on families and businesses in the Garden State,” said Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Today we are demanding that Speaker Oliver and Senate President Sweeney post this legislation for a vote before going on summer vacation, and thereby act to allow the people to cement property tax relief in our State Constitution. Along with Governor Christie’s tool kit, a firm cap on property taxes engrained in our constitution will give our state’s families the relief they need and local government the ability to finally deliver services at a reasonable cost to taxpayers.”
A hard 2.5 percent cap on increases in the property tax levy in the form of a constitutional amendment would provide New Jerseyans stability in their property taxes from year-to-year that is not subject to change without the voters' approval and can't be waived at the whim of future governors or legislatures.
This week, the Office of the Governor launched a new online database that calculates the effect of a 2.5 percent property tax cap for every municipality in the state over the last 10 years, allowing New Jerseyans to see for themselves the savings for the average taxpayer in every New Jersey municipality over the past decade under Cap 2.5.
Legislative committee approval for the Cap 2.5 constitutional amendment is needed before the first week of July in order to meet the deadline for the bill to be moved to the floor and approved for placement on the ballot and consideration by the voters in November. Hundreds of mayors have joined Governor Christie in urging the Assembly and Senate leadership and legislators of both parties to work with him in putting this critical government reform before the voters for approval this November.

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