NJ Gov Candidates Fixing Property Tax Blame, Not The Problem [AUDIO]
New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sen. Barbara Buono says property taxes have gone up 20 percent since Gov. Chris Christie took office.
Christie counters that under Buono's watch property taxes skyrocketed by 70 percent before he was elected in 2009. Both candidates are fixing the property tax blame, but is either doing anything to fix the problem?
"The sound bites from both political sides quite frankly I don't think give us all enough direction on how we're going to solve the problem," says New Jersey League of Municipalities executive director Bill Dressel. "Until we get through this election season I'm not going to speculate on who is going to do best for this state."
It's abundantly clear that there is a problem says Dressel and he plans to establish a working relationship with whoever wins on Nov. 5. He thinks it's important to put politics aside while devising a property tax reform strategy to come up with a vision for addressing the state's top issue.
"I do think that both of them are taking this seriously," says Dressel. "Once all of the political campaigning is behind us, I look forward to working with the political camp that becomes elected."
According to Christie, the legislature is blocking some of his property tax cutting ideas like encouraging shared services and eliminating huge end-of-career payouts to public employees for their unused sick and vacation days.
According to Buono, Christie is blocking one of the property tax reduction plans that she wholeheartedly supports; increasing the state income tax on New Jersey's millionaires.
"When I walked in the door nearly 40 years ago property taxes were high and 40 years later under the reign of both Republicans and Democrats property taxes still remain as the number-one issue," explains Dressel. "I am hopeful because both political camps have identified the property tax issue as being paramount to the economic well-being and quality of life for our citizens."