The New Jersey Senate has approved a measure that limits user fees local officials can impose for services that are beyond the state's property tax cap.

The measure is being sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, and supported by Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican.

It now heads to the Assembly for consideration.

Some local officials have turned to fee adjustments as one of the few remaining options to meet rising costs while complying with the 2 percent property tax cap enacted in 2010.

But Sweeney and Christie say that violates the intent of the law. This bill would close a loophole by including fee increases under the 2 percent cap.

New Jersey has the country's highest property taxes, averaging $7,758 per household.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)