Should the State Offload Teacher Retirement Benefits Onto Local School Districts?

IMG_3106In New Jersey, school districts pay the salaries of their teachers, but it’s the state that picks up the costs of their retirements. Cities and towns, meanwhile, cover their employees’ salaries as well as their retirement costs. That split responsibility is at the heart of one of the core elements of the… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 2nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Pensions | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Bill to restore N.J. property tax information removed by Christie administration advances

assetContent (7)TRENTON — The key state Senate committee today approved a bill requiring Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to restore information about property taxes that it had removed from a state website earlier this year. The bill ( S2056), which cleared the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, would require that the administration post the town-by-town average residential property… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Christie Administration, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Size Doesn’t Matter — Study of NJ Municipal Government Costs Concludes

What do Alpine and Harding, two of the state’s wealthiest enclaves, have in common with Newark, Camden and Trenton, three of New Jersey’s largest and poorest cities? All five spend more than $2,000 per person on municipal government services — 50 percent more than the average for the state’s 513 nonresort communities, Raphael J. Caprio and…

Posted: November 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, Property Taxes | Tags: , , | Comments Off

Opinion: For Gov. Chris Christie, October’s Been the Cruelest Month


repost-us-image-13906378Carl Golden In his 1922 epic poem “The Waste Land,” English poet, essayist, and playwright T. S. Eliot opened with the line “April is the cruelest month … ” For Gov. Christie, though, it’s October. This October. Consider: + For the first time in four years, more poll respondents hold an unfavorable view of him, 45… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Casino closings wipe $2B from Atlantic City property-tax values

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Posted: August 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Atlantic City, Atlantic County, News | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

NJ Property Owners Filed Tax Appeals Last Year at Near-Record Pace

NJ Property Owners Filed Tax Appeals Last Year at Near-Record Pace (via NJSpotlight)

As New Jersey’s economy and housing market struggled to recover from the recession in 2013, property owners filed a near-record of more than 100,000 tax appeals, winning an average reduction of $40,093 in assessed valuation and a proportionate tax cut…

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Posted: May 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, Property Taxes | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

Beck’s veterans property tax benefits expansion gains traction in Senate

Beck’s veterans property tax benefits expansion gains traction in Senate (via NJ.com)

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Beck that would make veterans living in retirement and long-term care communities eligible for a state veterans property tax deduction and a tax exemption intended for disabled veterans cleared its Senate committee…

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Posted: May 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Jennifer Beck, NJ State Legislature, Property Taxes, Veterans | Tags: , , | Comments Off

Extend Key Property Tax Reform – Earn the Respect We Claim to Seek.

By Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

declan-oscanlon-budgetWhen Gov. Christie came to office in 2010, he took action to address the biggest problem New Jerseyans have faced for decades – property taxes. Working with the Legislature, historic tax reforms were signed into law. These included a two percent limit on property tax levies, increased health and pension contributions by public employees and a two percent cap on awards arbitrators can grant when towns and their unions can’t agree on a contract.

These cost control tools are working. Recent property tax data shows the average property tax bill grew by 1.7 percent in 2013 and by the lowest consistent rate in decades since the reforms were passed. While our ultimate goal is to actually cut property taxes, slowing their growth is an essential first step.

The clock is now counting down to the destruction of the delicate framework that has successfully controlled our property taxes.  An essential component of that framework – the arbitration award cap which enables local officials to control their largest costs – expired on April 1 of this year.  The first contracts exempt from the cap will expire in June. That will be a disaster for property taxpayers throughout New Jersey. Without an honest and effective arbitration award cap, the property tax cap will fail.

The state’s interest arbitration cap law is one of the primary reasons we have turned the tide on the escalation of property taxes. According to the Public Employment Relations Commission, from January 2011 (when the arbitration law took effect) to September 2013, average raises in local contracts, whether through arbitration or negotiations, were 1.86 percent — the lowest in at least 20 years.

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Posted: May 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, NJ State Legislature, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Christie and Prieto negotiating over renewal of key NJ property tax law

Christie and Prieto negotiating over renewal of key NJ property tax law (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — State Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto is negotiating with Gov. Chris Christie on renewing of a law that limits raises to some police and firefighters to help curtail property tax increases. “I am in conversations with the governor and…

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Posted: April 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

Christie calls on Prieto to renew key NJ property tax law

Christie calls on Prieto to renew key NJ property tax law (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — After spending months combating scandal, Gov. Chris Christie today returned to a familiar setting and an old target: standing in front of dozens of supporters to pressure the state Assembly to pass a key bill. Backed by dozens of county…

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Posted: April 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , | Comments Off