Declan O’Scanlon, the Assembly Republican Budget Officer and the Senator-elect from the 13th Legislative District, today urged Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to allow the New Jersey General Assembly to vote on permanently extending the interest arbitration cap for public worker salaries.
O’Scanlon sent Prieto the following letter:
“As you are aware, in 30 days one of the most important tools for keeping property taxes from exploding expires – the interest arbitration cap public worker salary increases.
In 2010 and 2014 the two-percent cap was unanimously approved by the legislature and the reason for its unanimous approval still hold true today. Without it, municipalities could be forced to reduce services, lay-off employees or raise property taxes yet again.
In accordance with rules 10:9 and 10:11, I ask you to reconsider placing Assembly bill 2123 on the State and Local Government Committee agenda for Monday Dec. 4. This landmark, bipartisan reform, together with the state’s two percent cap on property taxes, has resulted in the slowest rate of property tax growth in 25 years. It’s one of the most important reforms passed to control property taxes.
Before the arbitration cap was created salary increases for the most well paid law enforcement in the nation were nearly five percent annually. With the cap, those increases didn’t even reach two percent annually. Public employee salaries are one of the biggest costs in a local budget, eliminating arbitration limits will ultimately destroy the two percent property tax cap.
Property tax increases in this state are a vicious cycle that only this legislature can stop. We have to protect our most vulnerable constituents from an exorbitant increase of the state’s most regressive tax, and I implore the urgency to come together again and make the two percent salary arbitration cap permanent.”