“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, July 16, 2010

Chris Christie Caves On Property Tax Limits

I read with some degree of shock in yesterday's Wall Street Journal that New Jersey's Governor, Chris Christie, caved in to Democrats on the property tax issue.

For months, Christie has been steadfastly promoting a hardline, unyielding 2.5% property tax increase limit by way of a state constitutional amendment. Commentaries on his fight with the Democratically-controlled legislature noted how porous and easily-evaded the cap they proposed would be.

Guess what? Christie blinked and folded. He gave into the legislative route, with its many easy avenues of escape for the state's legislature. Among the reasons they can override a 2% cap are: "health care, pensions, state emergencies and increased school enrollment."

Furthermore, the law allows a simple majority, rather than the proposed amendment's supermajority, to suspend the cap.

The Journal piece noted that New Jerseyans know what's going on,

"Taxpayers seem to understand the danger. In a Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Press Media poll after the budge and tax compromise, three-quarters believed the state's tax problems would persist, and 54% said they favored Mr. Christie's constitutional cap compared to the 35% who preferred the one that passed."

I think Christie has made a colossal mistake. If he thinks the Democrat-dominated state legislature won't slow roll him on spending and cause this cap to be liberally pierced and rendered moot, he, and the rest of the state's residents and taxpayers, are in for a nasty surprise.


Protes said...

The cap is a joke. There were reports yesterday of 12% increases to the state health care plan. That's one of the exceptions.

The constitutional cap wouldn't work either. There is always a way around things. Primarily, in this case, by borrowing and amassing debt.

The only way to address property taxes in NJ is to address Address, binding arbitration, state mandates, project labpor agreements and COAH. Christie is doing little to nothing in that regard.

And his cuts to property tax relief are going to cause massive property tax hikes.

Can you say "one term governor?"

C Neul said...


Well, I can't disagree with what you've written. Especially regarding tackling municipal and state union labor agreements. I remain disappointed.

At least a constitutionally-embedded cap could have been designed to be less porous.