BY MICHAEL HAYNE
Just like New York City had "The Rent's Too Damn High" Mayoral candidate, it seems only fair that neighboring New Jersey has a 'Property Taxes Too Damn High' Gubernatorial candidate. Property taxes are sort of like the holy-grail in New Jersey politics, and each and every election cycle seems to be more and more reminiscent of Mark Twain's pontificating on the weather: "Everybody talks about property taxes, but nobody does anything about it."
Christie may pride himself on being a fiscal conservative, but the fact remains that property taxes have gone up 18.7 percent during his reign as Governor. So here are 3 reasons why Gov. Christie can't get a handle on property taxes:
1. Costly end-of-the-year payouts to state employees for their unused sick days, according to Republicans
“When you continue to allow municipalities to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for sick days, it’s time to change that,” explains Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick. (NJ101.5.com)
2. Gutting the Homestead Program
Back in 2009 when he was just candidate himself, Christie vowed to boost funding for what was then a property tax rebate. But facing the realities of actual governance, Christie and democrats gutted the Homestead program and changed it from a rebate to a credit.
3. Putting A Realistic Number On Ending User Fees And Sick Leave Pay Outs
“What you see coming from the Republican Party is this concept of, ‘Here look at the shiny object so I take your attention away from what is fundamentally broken,’” said Assembly Democratic Leader Lou Greenwald. “The tax structure is broken because it relies on property taxes to pay for local governments unlike any other state in the nation.” “No one is putting a dollar amount on what property taxes will come down by moving those initiatives,” explains Greenwald. “No one will give you a direct correlation of what property taxes will go down because they can’t.”