The N.J. League of Municipalities tonight hailed the Assembly passage of the pension and health benefits reform bill.
The League stated that this was the next to final step to assure for the sustainability of these systems and a key tool for local governments to slow the growth of property taxes.
In a statement, the League said that Wilda Diaz, Perth Amboy Mayor and Deputy Chair of the League’s Management Reform Committee, had previously testified, “Local governments and our taxpayers need relief. Approximately 70 percent of local government costs are tied up in personnel and personnel related expenses.”
With arbitration reform having been enacted, the prime remaining drivers of costs are pension and health insurance costs, the League stated.
The League of Municipalities has long advocated for pension and health benefit reforms. While pension and health benefit costs are one of the main cost drivers for municipal budgets, they are generally outside the municipality’s control, the League stated. Yet, these costs drive up local costs which in turn force cuts elsewhere in the budget, often to valued and vital public services, the League said in a prepared statement.