At NJBIA conference, legislative leaders back reforms

ISELIN – Four legislative leaders said at a business convention the reforms New Jersey is undertaking could help stymie the sky-high property taxes that have made New Jersey unaffordable for many middle-class families.

Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, (D-6) of Voorhees, said today that never before have so many college graduates moved back to the nest, largely because of the high taxes.

“Young people cannot afford this state,” he said at the New Jersey Business and Industry Association conference at the Renaissance Hotel here.

In addition to Greenwald, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean and Assemblyman David Rible also participated in a discussion moderated by New Jersey 101.5’s Kevin McArdle.

While the 2 percent property tax cap could “help bridge the gap,” Greenwald said a more long-term, structural change is needed. He said the state should look at other sources of revenue, such as the sales and income taxes, to relieve the large reliance on more regressive property taxes.

Energy tax phase-out

Kean delivered some good news to business interests. When asked if the plan to phase out the energy tax will remain in place, he responded, “yes.”

When asked about reforms the state should pursue, Kean said tenure reform and the need to pass the Opportunity Scholarship Act were among his priorities, and he said a student’s educational success is too often based on the Zip code they reside in.

Greenwald and Sweeney acknowledged the state’s education system has problems, but said they exist in “pockets,” adding that the state’s overall education system is very good.

  At NJBIA conference, legislative leaders back reforms