O’Scanlon calls for arbitration cap’s extension to control property taxes

TRENTON, N.J. – Calling the arbitration award cap one of the most important reforms implemented to control property taxes, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon said today that if the cap isn’t permanently extended taxpayers will face tax increases, draconian cuts to municipal services or both. O’Scanlon was a prime sponsor of the original cap law and vocal advocate of the extension. He was the only legislator appointed by the governor to sit on the Interest Arbitration Task Force.

“There’s no question that the cap has been successful and is an essential tool for municipalities to keep expenses and property taxes contained,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “Every report we’ve done to date has been absolutely consistent and shows the arbitration and tax cap are working together as intended. You can’t keep the tax cap in place without the arbitration cap. You would create a mathematically untenable situation. And it isn’t just police and fire salary costs that are affected, there is a ripple effect throughout all salary expenses.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted: September 22nd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

O’Scanlon: Gopal lacks credibility on property taxes

By Declan O’Scanlon

Vin Gopal and the Easter Bunny photo via @gopalforsenate

Democratic state Senate candidate Vin Gopal, in his Aug. 20 oped “Consolidate small towns,” extolled the virtues of municipal consolidation as if he were presenting a new, fresh approach to the concept. An honest reading of his own words destroys both his credibility on the property tax issue, and his paralyzing duplicity as a candidate.

Let’s concede up front that in order to solve our high property tax problem we will need consolidation and sharing of services. But that’s a very small piece of the essential reform pie.

Gopal, who is seeking to unseat incumbent Republican state Sen. Jennifer Beck in the 11th District, tries to suggest that because those of us — like Beck and me — fighting the fight to reduce property taxes haven’t yet declared victory, he might be able to do a better job. But in his own words he actually says he would make things worse — actually make it harder to consolidate or enact reforms that will reduce property taxes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted: September 8th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: 11th Legislative District, 2017 Elections, Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County News, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Beck: School Funding Should Be Fair and Transparent

Senator Jennifer Beck

By Senator Jennifer Beck

The biggest issue facing our state is property taxes.  And the biggest impact on that issue is school taxes.

Over the next several weeks, a new plan for school funding will be debated in Trenton.

There aren’t a lot of details being provided on this plan or its methodology, but estimates suggest that it could end up costing Monmouth County schools over $100 million in state school aid.

This plan, if estimates are true, isn’t a fair or equitable solution to our school funding crisis.

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Posted: June 15th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Jennifer Beck, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, Opinion, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Beck: School Funding Should Be Fair and Transparent

O’Scanlon forces Assembly vote on property tax cap effectiveness

Democrats punt on property tax reform

Trenton, NJ- Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, Jr. invoked a parliamentary rule on the floor of the Assembly on Thursday to force a vote on his bill that would remove the sunset provision on the arbitration cap of police and fireman salaries.

The arbitration cap was institution as part of the 2010 landmark property tax reform legislation that capped New Jersey property tax growth at 2% per year. The initial cap expired in 2014 and was renewed in 2014 with a sunset provision for the end of this year.  O’Scanlon’s bill, A-2123,would make the 2% arbitration cap permanent.

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Posted: June 10th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, NJ State Legislature, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Middletown Township Reduces Spending and Property Taxes In 2017 Budget

Middletown Township Committee

The Middletown Township Committee will introduce a budget on Monday night that reduces Township spending by $161,459 and reduces the municipal tax rate by 3.49%

“We’ve taken a fine tooth comb to this budget in order to develop a spending plan that reduces costs without sacrificing core essential services,” said Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, Ph.D. “We consistently seek ways to further minimize costs, maximize revenues and stretch a dollar.”

For the average homeowner, municipal taxes will decrease $5.31 this year.

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Posted: March 20th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown, Monmouth County News, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

TAXPAYER NIGHTMARE: N.J. High Court Paves Way for Construction of 100k+ Affordable Housing Units

The New Jersey Supreme Court has once again usurped the legislature and stepped into the realm of public policy today, Save Jerseyans, creating a mandate that will mean big tax increases for many N.J. towns. At issue was whether New Jersey municipalities have an obligation to construct houses not built during the so-called “gap period,” a… Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted: January 18th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, NJ Courts, NJ Supreme Court | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Shared Patrol Model: The sweet spot for reducing property taxes and saving police officers jobs

By Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

declanThe concept of municipal consolidation/shared services is referred to by some as the panacea for high property taxes.  Others claim that consolidation/shared services is a pipe dream and not worth pursuing because no single service will solve our property tax problem.  Both sides of this argument are wrong.  No one act or reform will slash our taxes – short of major increases in other taxes.  To argue that we shouldn’t pursue such reforms because they won’t save “enough” is to argue against doing anything to cut costs.  On the contrary, the answer is we must do EVERYTHING.

Merging of municipalities is a heavy lift. People have nostalgic attachments to their town names and pride in their community identity. And if things don’t go as well as planned, there’s no going back.  That leaves shared services  as the sweet spot – much easier to attain than wholesale municipal mergers and can generate 60 to 80% of the savings.

We must then hone in on the areas where we can get the greatest amount of savings.  Things like public works and administration sound like good targets but those areas have already, frequently, been cut to the bone.  One area in many municipalities that is ripe for restructuring: police.

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Posted: December 9th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County News, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Christie takes aim at gas taxes, pensions, property taxes and teachers union

Governor Chris Christie gives the State of the State Address in the Assembly Chambers at the Statehouse in Trenton on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, in Trenton, NJ. (Governor's Office/ Mykwain Gainey)

WHIPPANY — With the state’s Transportation Trust Fund less than three weeks away from running out of money for new road, bridge and rail projects, Gov. Chris Christie said the fix being pushed by the Democratic-controlled legislature lacked sufficient tax breaks to be signed into law. Speaking to the Morris County Chamber of Commerce on Monday,… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 14th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, News | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Christie takes aim at gas taxes, pensions, property taxes and teachers union

State busts Jersey City, Elizabeth for violating order to reassess properties

assetContent (17)TRENTON — The state Division of Taxation has declared two of the three municipalities forced to undergo property revaluations in violation of that state order, NJ Advance Media has learned. Jersey City and Elizabeth have missed May deadlines to submit plans to comply with the April order that gives them until November 2017 to conduct revaluations,… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 24th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, News | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on State busts Jersey City, Elizabeth for violating order to reassess properties

Lake Como police department in jeopardy after voters reject tax increase

assetContent (7)LAKE COMO — Residents in this tiny Jersey Shore borough have rejected a 22-percent tax increase, likely leading to the disbandment of its police department. The referendum — a requirement if a municipality is going to exceed a 2-percent property tax increase cap set by a 2010 state law — received 379 “no” votes to 137… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 20th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »