The senate today passed five bills from the governor’s “tool kit” of measures designed to aid municipalities in staying underneath the two percent property tax cap passed last summer.
“The new cap on its own is not the end-all and be-all of our efforts to help New Jersey’s long-beleaguered property taxpayers,” said Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (D-West Deptford), who sponsored the new cap law in teh senate. “County governments, town councils and school boards all need the flexibility to ensure the cap works. These reforms will help officials deal with life under the new cap and help taxpayers who want to see nothing more than an end to this vicious cycle of out-of-control taxes.”
While the bills passed lack the teeth of many of the tool kit measures, Gov. Chris Christie said early in the day the senate has made a good start to the process.
The bills passed would:
- – Authorize state colleges to team together to form risk management groups and joint liability funds to cut insurance costs
- – Prohibit new employees of groups such as the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, School Boards Association and Association of Counties from enrolling in public employee pension funds or public health plans
- – Eliminate the requirement that counties and municipalities make a five-percent down payment for bonds
- – Bring all public employees under the current state law that caps unused sick and leave time payouts at $15,000
- – Promote mergers of municipal courts by allowing for the early termination of appointed positions that would be made redundant by the move