NJ Assembly Approves New Exemption For Property Tax Cap

Mar 16, 2017

Assemblyman Gary Schaer
Credit Phil Gregory

New Jersey's Assembly has approved a measure to add another exclusion to the state law that puts a 2 percent cap on local property tax increases.

The law already allows towns to exceed the cap to raise revenue for pensions, health care, debt, and emergencies.

Assemblyman Gary Schaer says the measure he sponsored would include an exemption for the matching funds towns must provide to get state and federal grants.

"We cannot hamstring local government from doing necessary things but they have their hands tied and vital considerations like police, like fire, like EMS etc. are being jeopardized right now."

Lori Buckelew with the New Jersey League of Municipalities says the new exemption would help local governments get the money they need.

“Currently when considering grants municipalities must ensure that the expenditure of the matching funds would not require the reduction of service or programs elsewhere.  Such consideration could force local officials to pass up an opportunity to save taxpayers money in the long term because of a short-term need.”

Assemblyman Anthony Bucco was among Republicans who voted against the legislation.

"Anytime we begin to erode away that 2 percent property tax level, that's a problem for taxpayers."

The state Senate has not acted on the measure.