Governor Christie willing to compromise on property tax cap

    Governor Christie is backing away from his insistence that a constitutional amendment is needed to limit property tax increases in New Jersey.

    Governor Christie is backing away from his insistence that a constitutional amendment is needed to limit property tax increases in New Jersey.

    Christie told a joint session of the legislature he’d now be willing to accept capping tax hikes at two and half percent a year by legislative statute if the only exclusions were for debts payments and costs in existing employee contracts.

    “I believe firmly in cap 2.5 in our constitution,” says Christie. “But I will not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I will not stand for the proposition that the only good idea is the one that you come up with yourself.”

    Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) says the Governor seems willing to compromise.

    “Many of the elements of what he described is music to the ears of members of the General Assembly,” says Oliver. “I think it gives us a starting point to work with over these next few days and weeks.”

    Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford Township) says lawmakers will work with the governor on tax reform but says health care, pensions and energy costs may also need to be excluded from a cap.

    “Energy costs are very difficult to deal with right now because they’re not predictable,” says Sweeney. “Health care costs, we haven’t been able to do anything about. So why would we expect a local mayor to handle something the government can’t do, and pension costs that we haven’t been able to manage?”

    While the Governor is pushing for quick action, lawmakers say they’ll analyze the reforms throughout the summer.

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