Will Sandy Recovery Efforts Lead To Higher Taxes? [AUDIO]
Are your taxes going to go up to help pay for Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts?
During a Hurricane Sandy aftermath seminar, New Jersey League of Municipalities President and Mayor of Mount Arlington Art Ondish, said, "The difficulty of this is, it's such a wide spread storm and there's so much damage and there's such different damage. In the north it was more trees, in the south and the shore area it was flooding, in the inner areas it was flooding as well…It's a challenge because the damage is so massive that it is going to have an effect on the towns obviously - there's going to be a lot of revenue lost in tax revenue and it's going to have to be absorbed from somewhere."
When asked where the necessary funds will come from, Ondish said, "This is what we do in New Jersey, we get creative, we put our heads together, the League helps to assist and we find ways to get around these obstacles and get back to some kind of normalcy…I'm sure the Administration will work with the municipalities through the League, with the League as a partner, to make sure everybody that needs help is getting help appropriately."
As to whether there will be a need for property tax increases, Ondish said, "It's got to be paid for from somewhere, so there will increases, I can't see any way around that… FEMA will help - they were talking about a 75-25 split - so there will be increases, it's going to have to be paid for one way or the other, it's just a matter of how, and how to do it so that it's not going to kill everybody…I hope it's not going to lead to layoffs and cuts, but who knows, we're going to have to see how this pans out. But, however it is, it's going to have to be something done across the board where everybody's going to feel the pain."
"It can't be focused on just some, everybody's got to everybody's got to be in on this and we've got to work together."