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Some Local Leaders Ask Residents – Let Us Boost Your Property Taxes

In municipal elections to be held tomorrow, two Jersey towns – Lawrence and Medford – are asking residents to approve plans to exceed the states new 2 percent property tax cap.

Property taxes (Flickr User: 401K)

Local officials say if their requests are turned down by the voters, they’ll be forced to institute garbage collection fees, and more municipal layoffs could soon follow, which could have an adverse impact on other kinds of services.

Governor Christie isn’t buying it.

He’s recommending that voters “call their bluff” and reject the proposed increases, saying, “They’re looking for ways to get around the cap.”

But Bill Dressel, the Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities isn’t so sure.

“I haven’t seen in all my years, elected officials that are eager to increase taxes and reduce services,” says Dressel, “and in these trying times they’re trying to do everything that they can to be able to provide the quality of life services – these are white knuckle decisions that have got to be made, and it’s difficult…but every program and every service has got to be scrutinized – and you have to take a look at how you can reduce your costs and still be able to provide adequate services.”

Last year a total of 14 Jersey towns asked voters to go beyond the 2 percent cap – residents in 12 of those municipalities voted no.

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