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How Much Will Property Taxes Rise? [AUDIO]

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, no one knows how much property taxes will go up, and where they’ll rise, but state officials are not denying many residents in hard-hit areas will wind up footing at least part of the bill for the destruction caused by the hurricane.

Mario Tama, Getty Images

During a New Jersey Business and Industry Association Policy Forum panel discussion, GOP Assembly Minority Leader John Bramnick said, “All bets are off when you had Sandy- because if you’ve got a tax base that’s reduced quickly, where people’s homes are destroyed, and all of a sudden your tax receipts are going to go down, yes, it’s very possible that towns are going to have to find some revenues…could taxes go up? I’d say maybe- or there may be some bonding needed – most of us are against bonding, but in the short term these downs may to get the revenue…it was an emergency, it was a disaster, and we’re going to have to live with the consequences of that.”

Senate President Steve Sweeney agreed, saying, “Taxes are going to go up in a lot of these communities, they’re going to go up, because there’s millions of dollars being bonded as we speak, for clean-up…hopefully federal money will pay for a lot of this, but the problem is the best you’re going to do is a 90-10 match, so there’s piece that wasn’t budgeted- wasn’t planned for, and it’s going to have to be paid for.”

Members of the panel agreed that more must be done to nudge towns into sharing services.

Senate President Sweeney said his shared services measure, which has been passed by the Upper House, would deny state aid to communities that refuse to share services if it saves taxpayers money.

“We gotta get serious if we wanna fix this state’s economy,” he said. “We pay too much in taxes…we can shrink government, provide the same level of service and cut costs and reduce the tax burden, but it’s change, people hate change: and when you propose it they fight like hell.”

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