Governor Christie's first budget was passed by the Legislature before the June 30th deadline, but not before three Republican holdouts, Michael Doherty in the Senate and Allison Littell McHose and Michael Patrick Carroll in the Assembly vowed not to vote for the $29.4 billion budget and the supplemental bills containing tax hikes.
After the last minute give-and-take, the three most fiscal conservative members of the Legislature "held their noses" and signed on. The Governor signed the budget bill at a ceremony in South River, reiterating that the state needs a constitutional amendment that would cap annual property tax hikes at 2.5%.
Governor Christie's property tax cap allows residents to override the 2.5% cap. What is the point of a cap then? Self government means that voters should be able to determine how much they want to spend on municipal services and schools. Local officials are supposed to be held accountable to voters who "hire" them at every election. If the officials are not good stewards of the public's money, they should be fired by the voters when they seek another term in office.