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On April 20, New Jersey voters backed Gov. Chris Christie in the first test of his drive to pull their state back from the fiscal brink -- producing record turnout as they rejected 58 percent of school budgets. But the war is far from over -- and must extend far beyond property taxes.
Having successfully challenged the New Jersey Education Association's decades-long control over the public purse, the governor is now moving to tackle the issues that drove so many voters to the polls: crushing property taxes and out-of-control spending.
Christie yesterday released a package of 33 bills -- which add up to a frontal assault on New Jersey's tax-and-spend spiral. The key components of his "tool kit" to help municipal government:
* A tighter property-tax cap.
* Collective-bargaining and civil-service reforms.
* A clampdown on pension and benefits costs for public workers.
* A 2.5 percent limit on annual increases in public-employee contracts: Local workers' total compensation -- wages, health benefits, vacation time, etc. -- couldn't rise by more than that.
Christie wants to tighten the current property-tax cap of 4 percent and broaden it to include pensions and benefits. The intent is to force discipline on local budgets.
Originally posted by GrampsLEn
When is the last time you saw a politician actually do what he said he would? Here in NJ though he will be a one-termer. People gripe about the goodies from guvmint until it affects them personally which it has to eventually, then they get pissed off and toss the guy out. The reason pols are such oinkers is because that is really what the voters want. Take everyone else's freebies but don't dare touch mine. This guv is probably NJ's last chance to avoid what certainly looks like the same precipitous fall that awaits Cal and NY in the very near future.