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Opinion

Christie’s N.J. property tax toolkit needs a hammer

Christie’s N.J. property tax toolkit needs a hammer
BY WILLIAM G. DRESSEL, JR.
COMMENTARY

Over the past month, the governor signed a budget that cut municipal property tax relief funding by about $400 million, and a new 2 percent cap on future property tax increases became law.

But true tax reform is not done until municipalities have the means to keep expenses down. Now the Legislature and administration must make it their top priority to provide the promised "tool kit" of management reform and relief from state mandates. Up against a hard 2 percent cap with an empty tool kit, local budget makers will not be able to control costs.

If the Legislature wants to know where to start, we'd suggest arbitration reform.

Binding interest arbitration is a state-mandated process for settling collective bargaining disputes between local governments and police and fire employee unions.

When a town or other public employer can't reach a contract agreement with a union representing civilian workers, it can impose its final offer. But in an impasse with a police or fire union, a third-party arbitrator is called in to decide the terms of the new contract.

 

New Jersey’s economic recovery will not come easy

New Jersey’s economic recovery will not come easy
BY HANK KALET
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
COMMENTARY

Gov. Chris Christie was elected promising a rebirth of the state's economy, a promise it was clear he couldn't keep given the structural changes that have h...

To infinity and beyond: The state of media in the 21st Century

To infinity and beyond: The state of media in the 21st Century
BY RICHARD A. LEE
COMMENTARY

Right before I left for Italy at the end of June, my two daughters took me to see the movie Toy Story 3 for Fathers' Day. They are both grown now, but we had enjoyed the Toy St...

Protect N.J. by treating coal ash like toxic waste

Protect N.J. by treating coal ash like toxic waste
BY JEFF TITTEL AND TRACY CARLUCCIO
COMMENTARY

New Jersey may not be a coal state, but the pollution from coal surrounds us. The prevalence of coal fired power plants in Pennsylvania and Ohio pollutes th...

Christie’s proposal is good for sports complex — And the entire Meadowlands

Christie’s proposal is good for sports complex — And the entire Meadowlands
BY ALAN J. STEINBERG
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
COMMENTARY

Governor Chris Christie is a fan of baseball's New York Mets. His baseball club hasn't been playing very well recently, but the Governor hit a polit...

Now is the time to begin dialogue of shared services in N.J.

Now is the time to begin dialogue of shared services in N.J.
BY DOMENICK STAMPONE
COMMENTARY

Sharing services between local communities is an obvious and pragmatic approach to stabilizing our taxes and maintaining a high level of municipal services our residents ...

Real N.J. property tax reform takes more than caps and cuts

Real N.J. property tax reform takes more than caps and cuts
BY WILLIAM G. DRESSEL, JR.
COMMENTARY

Facing an unprecedented revenue gap this year, Gov. Chris Christie introduced, and the Legislature passed, a budget that cut funding for municipal property tax reli...

How well will the 2 percent cap work on NJ municipal budgets?

How well will the 2 percent cap work on NJ municipal budgets?
EDITORIAL CARTOON BY MIKE SCOTT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

The NJ Senate, Assembly and Gov. Chris Christie reached a compromise on a "hard" 2 percent cap on municipal spending, but with exceptions for health...

Times of uncertainty not helped by President Obama’s Financial Reform Bill

Times of uncertainty not helped by President Obama’s Financial Reform Bill
BY CHRISTOPHER W. YOUNG
COMMENTARY

One is not hard pressed to appreciate the energy and execution ability of President Obama. Since he took office, he has passed the Healthcare Reform Bill, the Economi...

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