TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner today urged Governor Christie to make tax reform his top priority by calling for a Constitutional Convention.
In a statement issued after Christie was sworn in (see below), the Mercer County Democrat said, “It’s clear that politicians lack the political will to effect meaningful tax reform.”
“Governor Christie should lay the groundwork immediately for calling a Constitutional Convention on Tax Reform where taxpayers and fiscal experts who aren’t looking over their shoulders at the next election have a say in reforming the broken system we have now.
“The bipartisan legislative effort we tried three years ago was well intentioned, but its end result was bipartisan gridlock which failed to enact the needed overhaul of how we pay for education and government services. Property taxpayers have been left beyond the breaking point.
“While lip service is paid to bipartisanship in Trenton and in Washington, the sad reality is that our current political culture is consumed with bashing opponents instead of serving taxpayers. Over the last decade I’ve pushed for a constitutional convention, my colleagues always told me they were afraid of the political consequences and that we should try to find legislative solutions to tax reform. The last ten years are cluttered with failed legislative and executive branch efforts to provide meaningful property tax reform.
“Reduction of property taxes is essential to keeping businesses and families from exiting our state. Lower property taxes will, in turn, create an attractive environment for companies to relocate in New Jersey, which is critical for our economic recovery efforts, providing new work opportunities for those who are unemployed and improving our slumping housing market.
“Looking ahead, the political complexion at the State House bodes poorly for tax reform to surface any time soon from a legislative and executive branch compromise. Instead, I believe our best chance lies in casting aside fear and calling a constitutional convention.”