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Christie: 2 percent property tax cap may be put aside for Hurricane Sandy rebuilding

christiechris01192011TL_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Governor Christie listed restoring power and finding homes for people who were displaced as his top priorities right now in New Jersey’s recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

He said there was a lot to be considered in the rebuilding of the Jersey shore, and he would not be making his decision right away.

But Philly.com reported that Christie said shore town residents damaged by the storm were likely to see a property tax increase. An exception in Christie’s 2 percent cap on property taxes is permitted during declared emergencies.

While Christie said that federal funds would cover a lot of the rebuilding, the admission marked a sharp departure for the governor, who has long campaigned on tax cuts.

“If they believe the money is being spent reasonably and responsibly to rebuild towns, then they’ll be happy to do it,” he said, according to NorthJersey.com. “This is truly an extraordinary circumstance.”

Christie did mention that legislation may be required for reassessment of homes that have been severely damaged, so people only pay property taxes on the value of their land.

He said, according to the Asbury Park Press, “If a home is no longer there, it seems fundamentally unfair they should have to pay tax on the structure that no longer exists. So there has to be a reassessment, and for a period of time they just pay the portion that’s on the property itself.”

Christie said he had a “positive and productive meeting with Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and ranking legislative Republicans on Tuesday," according to an Associated Press report on Connecticut Post. He said, "I got a commitment that Hurricane Sandy recovery issues would be outside the political realm.”

The governor also said that he has not made a decision on running for re-election in 2013 due to being preoccupied with Hurricane Sandy. Democratic contenders who may challenge Christie include Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Senator Barbara Buono and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, according to NorthJersey.com.

Senate hearings on the shore’s rebuilding are scheduled to start on Nov. 26 in Toms River.

 
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