From the APP:
Mayors opposed to the 2 percent cap on property tax increases hurtling toward approval by the state Legislature voiced their concerns to an Assembly committee Wednesday, taking exception to the exemptions now being excluded.
Such costs are within the compromise 2 percent cap negotiated by Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Stephen Sweeney that was announced last Saturday. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver announced Wednesday that the Assembly Democrats support the cap though still have concerns about “some holes” in its details.
“In concept, we support the cap. We know that residents of this state want to see some restraints put on their taxes. But we have to give people at the local level the leverage that they need to make it work for their community,” Oliver said. “There continue to be difficulties with the (veto) as issued.”
The 2 percent cap would exempt pension and health care costs, capital expenditures including debt service and costs needed to respond to an emergency, but 10 other exceptions allowed under the current 4 percent cap would be erased. Voters would be allowed to override the cap in a referendum.
Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said such override votes will almost certainly fail.
“There is no citizen in the state who’s going to say, “Oh yeah, I want them to tax me more money,’ ” he said.