Do You Have Ideas to Cut Property Taxes? [AUDIO]
If all 80 members of New Jersey's General Assembly and all 40 state Senators gathered in one room for one full day to talk about property tax relief and reform and invited you to present ideas, would you do it? The Assembly Minority Leader thinks it's worth a try.
"For many years I've requested to have a special session on property taxes," said Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield). "Members can suggest in an open discussion all of the ideas that have been raised over the years as to how to lower property taxes."
New Jersey has the highest-in-the-nation average property taxes. In 2006, then-Gov. Jon Corzine convened a bipartisan, bicameral special session on property tax relief and reform. Four committees explored the issue from four different angles, but most agree that not much was gained from the summer-long session. Bramnick's idea is different.
"I do not want this done by committees," Bramnick said. "I want it done by all of the legislators in an open discussion on the floor. What's wrong with having both houses sitting in one room discussing property taxes in a day-long session, and allowing the public to speak as well?"
When the governor addresses the legislature for the state budget message and the State of the State speech, all members of the legislature gather in one room -- so it can be done, Bramnick said. He hopes the one-day experiment could turn into more regularly scheduled meetings.
"I'd be happy to have one day dedicated to this at this point, since it's been years since I first made the suggestion and we haven't had one hour of an open discussion," Bramnick said. "This is something that I think is fair to everyone."