Townships are feeling the pinch of not being able to collect enough revenue.

It’s that damn pesky 2 percent cap that’s driving them crazy.

So what do they do?

Install red light cameras! (How’s that working out so far)

Try and close bars at midnight because of rowdy patrons! (See Pt. Pleasant Beach)

And here’s the latest salvo.

Ewing’s Council is drafting an ordinance that landlords should have to pay the costs if the police are called in because of their disorderly tenants.

Sounds like a plan Pt. Pleasant Beach mayor Vincent Barilla would love to have thought up himself.

The amendment would let the township require payment of a bond of $500 to $5,000 after the renters are convicted of disorderly conduct twice within a 24-month period.

Under the current ordinance, there must be two convictions within 12 months before the township can institute proceedings against a landlord.

The original legislation was spurred by repeated complaints and police visits to rental properties for a disorderly conduct or nuisance violations, including noise complaints.
It covers any rental in Ewing, including the many properties rented to students from The College of New Jersey and from Rider University in Lawrence.

The mayor said the measure would help focus the attention of landlords who turn a blind eye to raucous behavior among their tenants.

Councilwoman Hilary Hyser supported the amendment, but said further steps should be taken to penalize landlords whose tenants engage in disorderly behavior. Because the landlords can simply take money from security deposits if a bond is imposed, the ordinance gives them little incentive to rein in their tenants, she said.

Ok, so now the landlords are babysitters and they will have to pay if and when the police are called in to quell their out-of-hand tenants.

I’m all for landlords taking more responsibility, but this is shaping up to be another shakedown, a la Barilla.

Again, see Pt. Pleasant Beach if you don’t know what all that means.