TRENTON – Senator Ronald L. Rice, D-Essex, who also serves as the Deputy Mayor of Newark, released the following statement today regarding the New Jersey League of Municipalities 14th Annual Mayors’ Legislative Day:
” With this new Administration comes more talk of the necessity for a citizens convention to address the State’s high property taxes. I’ve said it in the past, and I’ll say it again, I believe that our property tax problem would be better handled by a special legislative session.
‘ I’ve been a part of this Legislature for nearly 20 years, and while I am honored to have been re-elected as many times as I have, this office is not so important to me that I am willing to forego standing up for what is best for my constituents.
‘ A citizens’ convention would be ideal if it only addressed property taxes without disturbing other Constitutional issues like thorough and efficient education and other civil human rights components. However, I don’t believe that’s possible.
‘ Under the McGreevey Administration, some Legislators and committees dedicated to organizing a citizens’ convention discussed the possibility of holding such an event, but the problem came from some groups insisting that other areas like thorough and efficient education and civil human rights be included.
‘ I support a special session because it is our responsibility as elected officials to address this problem for our constituents. They elected us to represent their best interests in Trenton, and that’s what we must do. This hasn’t been done in the past because some legislators haven’t had the will to do so, but now is the time to get together and do our part on behalf of the people of New Jersey.”