The senate budget committee will begin work today on the so-called “tool kit,” a raft of measures designed to help towns and school hold down property taxes.
The senate committee has promised to work throughout the summer with an eye toward having the measures in place by the fall. In the assembly, several members are studying portions of the tool kit and have been asked by Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) to hold public hearings on some before the fall.
The “tool kit” includes 33 measures contained in about a dozen bills designed to help the state’s municipalities to implement the recently enacted cap on property tax increases. Among them are proposals to abolish civil service, limit payouts for unused sick pay for school and local employees, permit municipalities to post officials notices on their own websites rather than in a local newspaper and several others.
While Gov. Chris Christie has lobbied for the measure, Democrats are quick to point out that many were introduced by them. Asked earlier this month if the tool kit that is eventually enacted would be drastically different than the one proposed by Chrisitie, Senat President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) said there is no doubt many changes would be made.