TRENTON – Senator Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, a primary sponsor of S-29, legislation which will cap local spending at 2.0 percent of the previous year’s spending levels, issued the following statement today regarding the Governor signing the bill into law:
“The property tax cap bill which was signed into law today represents New Jersey state government’s best attempt to control runaway local property taxes. For far too long, New Jersey residents have had to endure tax increase after tax increase, to the point where many have been driven out of their homes by the high cost of living in the Garden State.
“This cap compromise achieves a balance between the need to control local spending and tax increases, and the need to continue to provide the basic services that New Jersey residents depend on. It’s crafted in such a way to allow flexibility for municipalities dealing with emergency situations or mandated spending increases which are beyond their control, such as the cost of health care, debt service and necessary capital improvements.
“This new cap law is a continuation on the Legislature’s successful attempts to begin to rein in property taxes over the last few years, and is a stepping stone to the further property tax reforms we will consider later this summer. It’s a natural progression from the previous statutory cap which has reduced property tax increases from, on average, seven and a half percent a year to just over three percent a year.
“At the end of the day, this cap will spell real relief for New Jersey’s hard-hit taxpayers, without jeopardizing public safety or denying municipal officials the resources they need to deal with unexpected or uncontrolled expenses. While we still have more work to do to make New Jersey affordable, this cap is a significant step in the right direction.”