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Burzichelli: Christie Must Prioritize Property Tax Relief Without Silly Sound Bites

(TRENTON) — Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester) released the following statement Monday as the Assembly Budget Committee heard from the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA):

“I find it hard to believe that the administration is continuing to harp on a so-called tool kit amid a net 20 percent property tax increase under Gov. Christie.

“New Jerseyans are struggling under the burden of property taxes and this administration needs to finally make property tax relief a priority.

“The time for silly sound bites is over. We’ve been there. It didn’t work. Let’s prioritize property tax relief.”

For those wondering, here’s a look back at the lack of substance in the governor’s plan:

  • Of the 33 proposals in the toolkit, 22 bills were introduced;
  • Of the 22 bills introduced, 15 were certified by the Office of Legislative Services (OLS) as needing fiscal notes;
  • Thus, only two-thirds of the bills even have a fiscal impact for the state or its localities. That means that fully one-third of the bills would have absolutely no impact on property taxes;
  • Of the 15 bills requiring fiscal notes, fiscal information from the Administration was received by OLS on only 3;
  • Of these 3 for which information was received:
    • One showed state savings of $140,000 annually and indeterminate potential local savings;
    • One showed additional state revenue of $440,000; and
    • One showed additional state costs of $292,000 to $331,000;

    In summary, the fiscal information provided by the Christie administration on toolkit measures showed a net state savings/revenue increase of $249,000 to $288,000 and some indeterminate local savings;

  • OLS did fiscal estimates on 3 additional bills, absent administration information as the bills were moving. Of these:
    • One was cost neutral;
    • One showed indeterminate potential local revenue gains; and
    • One showed indeterminate potential state and local costs as well as indeterminate potential restraint of growth rate in property tax levies — not a reduction.