(TRENTON) — Assemblymen John F. McKeon and Peter J. Barnes III Friday issued a multimedia package on their legislation to cap property tax increases at 2.9 percent annually.
The McKeon/Barnes bill (A-3065) improves upon the four percent cap McKeon (D-Essex) sponsored in 2007 that successfully held property tax increases to 3.3 percent last year after years of increases that averaged near 7.5 percent.
The multimedia package consists of a video on the legislation, audio of same, a transcript of comments from McKeon and Barnes (D-Middlesex) and a press release discussing their legislation in more detail.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of comments from the legislators is appended below:
Assemblyman Peter J. Barnes III (D-Middlesex):
“Our cap provides a 2.9 percent limit. Our cap, we feel, is a lot more reasonable because at the same time, while we recognize that property taxes are the number one issue — property tax increases in New Jersey — at the same time, we don’t want to devastate local budgets.”
Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex):
“What it does is it plays off the legislation that Assemblyman Burzichelli and I put forward three years ago, at a four percent cap, and it improves it, in that we’re able to set the bar even higher now on the basis of the experience we have.”
“Ours will take effect immediately; it will provide relief right away to the various towns and municipalities. The governor’s proposal, if approved, will not take effect until November and the property taxpayers are looking for relief right away.”
“The Legislature always has the flexibility to be able to come back and amend the law. From a constitutional amendment perspective, that’s a complicated process. At a minimum, a year would have to go by until a November election and usually it’s time even extended beyond that. So, it takes away all flexibility. Frankly, it removes the responsibility that was given to the elected members of this house.
“The goal of the 2.9 cap is to reduce property taxes. To put a goal in mind that’s realistic for various governmental entities on the local level; to put them in a position to succeed, not to fail.”
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