McKEON: ASSEMBLY PANEL TO BEGIN WORK OF EXAMINING MANDATES THAT DRIVE PROPERTY TAXES

(TRENTON) – Assemblyman John McKeon on Friday announced the Assembly environment committee will meet on Thursday to begin examining state mandates on local governments that are a driving force behind property tax increases.
“If done correctly, we can bring real savings to property taxpayers without spending a dime, simply by easing mandates that may no longer be serving their purpose or are simply too burdensome,” said McKeon (D-Essex).
McKeon is chairman of the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 26 in Committee Room 16 of the State House Annex in Trenton.
The panel will hear testimony from invited guests regarding state mandates imposed upon local entities. Additional details will be available next week.
The hearing will be streamed live at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.
McKeon was recently asked by Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver to lead an effort to examine state mandates on local governments.
“When state government imposes a law or regulation upon a municipality, it’s the property taxpayers who end up paying the bill,” said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). “If we’re going to make a dramatic difference in finally combating property taxes, this is clearly an area that needs to be examined.”
McKeon said the effort to examine mandates is part of the Assembly’s drive to find ways to control government spending and costs amid the new 2 percent cap on annual property tax increases. He said Thursday’s hearing is the first of several planned hearings on the topic.
“This is part of an overall effort to bring systemic change to a system that simply costs taxpayers too much money,” McKeon said
McKeon was mayor of West Orange from 1998 until July 1. He also served on the West Orange council from 1992 to 1998 and has been in the Assembly 2002.
“I know what it’s like to balance the needs of a local community with state mandates, but I also know that some mandates are developed with the best of intentions to protect the public safety, health and welfare,” McKeon said. “Our goal here is to streamline mandates and eliminate those that are no longer needed, all the while keeping in mind that the goal is to help control property taxes.”