New Jersey lawmakers tussle over tax sessions

    Democrats dispute Christie’s push for quick action on reform plan

    Gov. Chris Christie wants New Jersey lawmakers to work throughout the holiday weekend to quickly enact his property tax reform agenda.

    But Democrats say there’s no need to rush.

    Democrats, who control both houses of the Legislature, say they plan to take their time to review the proposals carefully. Christie wants to cap property tax increases and pass 33 bills to help municipalities control costs.

    Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Louis D. Greenwald, D-Camden, says even if a cap were enacted quickly it would not have an immediate effect on taxpayers.

    “Anything that’s done in the next three days or the next three months doesn’t impact anyone’s property tax bills because they’re already out on the streets,” he said.

    Assembly Budget Officer Joseph R. Malone 3rd, R-Burlington, disagrees.

    “It’ll start to send a chilling effect onto local governments right away because they’re going to know that they better cut their spending out as they move forward during the year,” he said.

    The Legislature’s budget committees have started to consider the reform bills. Democrats say the process could take all summer.

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