Monday, March 21, 2016

The 2% Property Tax Cap gets an F

In 2011 the legislature and Governor enacted a 2% tax cap on all municipalities in the state. They bragged at the time about now we have real "tax reform" in NJ. 
Here are the facts. 225 towns exceeded the cap in 2012 and last year 334 towns have ignored the 2% tax cap. Sounds like an F. 

But things get worse when you see what every town is doing to hide the tax increases by exploiting the exemptions that are not included in the 2% tax cap. 
One example. If police departments purchase a new car that is inside the cap. If police departments purchase an SUV then it is outside the cap because they can bond for it. Thus we have a proliferation of police SUV's in every town costing the taxpayer more in price, interest payments, and vehicles that are gas guzzlers. Sound like tax reform yet?

Can things get any worse? Yes! Towns can sell their assets. Last year legislation was passed to allow for municipalities to privatize their PUBLIC water systems and waste water treatment centers. 
Now your town can sell your asset, building, land and service to a for-profit company. Oh and by the way, you pay for the purchase price, because the for-profit companies can include it in their monthly fees. And for those who love their "Home Rule" your voice and vote is not required. 
You have been silenced. 

Somehow Municipal Consolidation doesn't sound so scary. 

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