DIRE CONSEQUENCES FOR TAXPAYERS IF LEGISLATURE FAILS TO ACT

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

O’Scanlon to Introduce Permanent extension of interest arbitration reform

Republican Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon warned of dire consequences if the Legislature fails to permanently extend interest arbitration reform set to sunset on
April 1st.

Declan O'Scanlon

“It will be a disaster at the local level if this doesn’t get done,” said O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, who also serves as the Assembly Republican Budget Officer. “The cap on arbitration awards was a crucial part of our 2010 reforms and was the single greatest tool ever enacted to bring under control the never-ending, dramatic rise in property taxes.

“With only 19 days remaining before the law sunsets, I really hope politics doesn’t get in the middle of this.  The consequences of our failure to get this done will be stark indeed,” commented O’Scanlon. “Pressure on property taxes will rise dramatically, services will erode and layoffs of even more police and fire personnel will be inevitable.

“We would be turning the clock back on a critical reform and essentially delivering a gut punch to the hard-working families of New Jersey struggling to pay their property taxes. Taxpayers have a right to expect that their elected officials will be honest and have the guts to make the tough choices and do the right thing,” explained O’Scanlon. “This isn’t rocket science – it’s basic math. Without the arbitration award cap, the property tax cap will
eventually fail.  It’s that simple.”

O’Scanlon announced he will introduce legislation helping homeowners struggling to pay their property taxes – and local officials trying to provide efficient, sustainable government – by making the law permanent.  He was a primary sponsor of the original bill signed in 2010 and has served on the task force created to study and evaluate the effectiveness of the arbitration cap.

From January 2011, when the law took effect, to September 2013, average raises in contracts, whether through arbitration or negotiations, were 1.86 percent — the lowest in at least 20 years.  And property taxes went up at the lowest rate in two decades.

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