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What Didn’t Get Done in 2013? [AUDIO]

The new state legislature in New Jersey won’t be sworn in until Jan. 14 and that means that theoretically more bills can be passed before then, but it also appears many important measures will die. The list includes several bills that could lower property taxes.

NJ Legislature
New Jersey Legislature (Tim Larsen, Governor’s Office)

“How about Steve Sweeney’s bill which ties in an income tax reduction with property taxes, which was an alternative to a 10 percent across the board income tax reduction,” asked Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield). “That’d be a great message.”

A 10 percent across-the-board income tax cut was first proposed by Gov. Chris Christie. State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) countered with his plan that would lower income taxes for people based on the amount of property taxes they pay. Christie said he will push for a tax cut again in 2014.

“It’s hasn’t been a mystery that we need to end sick and vacation payouts,” said Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Freehold). “What about consolidation? Some form of meaningful, forced consolidation that would actually lower property taxes.”

The governor wants to eliminate end-of-career payouts to public workers for their unused sick and vacation days, but the Democrat-controlled legislature has yet to come to a concensus.

There is a shared services bill and it’s also sponsored by Sweeney. It would force towns to share services where it makes sense or risk losing state aid. The bill has already passed the full upper house and Sweeney said if the Assembly doesn’t approve it this session, he’ll reintroduce it as Senate Bill Number One.

Another issue left unresolved is fully restoring a tax credit for the working poor that Christie had previously cut.

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