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Chris Christie To Lawmakers: Close The User Fee Loophole [AUDIO]

Governor Christie says while the state’s 2 percent property tax cap is providing badly needed relief, it can be made more effective.

Governor Chris Christie
Annette Petriccione, Townsquare Media

During last night’s edition of Townsquare Media’s “Ask The Governor” program, Christie said the State Senate considers an important bill in their voting session today, “putting any type of user fee from a town, under the cap, closing another one of those loopholes.”

The Governor then told a caller named Dan, who said he’s thinking about moving to Pennsylvania because even with the cap, he’s still paying more and more.

“We’re not going to allow Mayors and Council people to cause more pain to guys like Dan, who moved here 8 years ago, who loves living here, but we’re pricing him out of it…it’s ridiculous.”

Christie predicted the measure will pass.

“It’s the Senate President’s bill.  I believe republicans and democrats will support it, and then we need to Speaker to post it (in the Assembly) and get it to me by June 30th, so I can sign it and we can close that loophole in the cap,” Christie said.

He added there would be no Grandfather clause allowed if the bill passes.  So, all user fees already imposed would have to fit under the cap- or be tossed out.

The Governor also said he’s watching another bill that would allow the State to claim gift card monies that are not used within 2 years as unclaimed property, which could bring in perhaps tens of millions of dollars a year.

“This is a big fight about who gets to keep the money,” said Christie, “Is it the companies, or the government?”

He also pointed out if any consumer comes forward, “They get to take their money back.  If the government took the proceeds from an unused gift card, and you as the consumer wants to use the gift card- wants that money back, you just come and get your unclaimed property back from the government.  I’m willing to talk, I’m willing to have discussions and compromise about it, but I’m not necessarily enamored with that bill.”

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