Governor Christie Explains How To Lower Property Taxes In NJ – Permanently [AUDIO]
Legislative leaders in the State Senate and the Assembly have put forth tax reduction plans for the coming fiscal year - and so has Governor Christie, but what's the best way to lower Jersey's highest-in-the-nation property taxes permanently?
That was one of the questions put to the Governor during his latest town hall meeting in Haddonfield.
Christie told an over-flow crowd the first thing we have to do is deal with the school funding formula to ensure all towns get their fair share of state aid.
"That, combined with the cap, would mean that extra money that came in couldn't be used to increase spending, it has to be used to reduce taxes - cause spending could only go up 2 percent…so we gotta change the school funding formula - and if we're going to change the school funding formula - we gotta change the Supreme Court," said Christie.
He said, "I've nominated 2 extraordinarily well qualified people for the Supreme Court and they've turned both of them down - purely for political reasons…and many of them have said they've turned them down because they don't want the Court changed - well you all voted for somebody who ran saying I'm going to change the Court - I said it all through the campaign - and now they're saying yeah, yeah but we don't want to…you want property taxes to go down, we need to change the Supreme Court - first and foremost."
Christie also said, "More towns have to be sharing services - we don't need to have a CFO in every town - we don't need to have this redundancy of services - towns should be able to share those things…we've tried for years to have them share by offering them incentives - and the incentives are never big enough to get them to be willing to do it…but a bill that's pending in the legislature says if you want to have all of your own things, and you want to continue to do that, that's fine, but we're not paying for it anymore - so for the amount of money that could have been saved if you shared services, we're going to reduce your state aid by that much - I've watched enough over the last 2 ½ years to say that unless we start sharing services with each other, we're not going to be able to reduce the cost of government."
In addition, the Governor said, "There's lots of those towns - you know, the donut hole towns - they're all over New Jersey - and we should have those towns consolidating - so that they don't have to have two sets of governing officials, they don't have to have 2 police forces, 2 fire departments. I mean it's just insane…the only real way to lower property taxes is to change the school funding formula, to make it more fair to all the towns- that will be a significant amount of money that can be used directly with the cap to lower property taxes -second, we've got to make sure we share more services - across all of these towns - and third - for where it's appropriate with towns, they should be consolidating… and I don't think people in Trenton should be deciding this - I don't want some bureaucrat in a cubicle in a building in Trenton deciding that your town and the town next to you should merge - I think the local people should decide that."