NJ gov. candidates on property taxes

TRENTON, N.J. - October 28, 2009

Polls show that property taxes are the number one concern for voters in New Jersey, and it is no wonder why: State residents pay the highest property taxes in the nation.

Action News asked each candidate for governor what they'd do to reduce them.

Republican Chris Christie says he'll insist municipalities look harder at ways to tighten their belts.

"We should be sharing services more among the towns, we should be consolidating towns as well. We have a grant program, I think, will encourage that," Christie said. "We should make sure the cap is harder on municipal spending.

Christie wants to restore property tax rebates suspended because of the the state's financial problems, as does Democrat Gov. Jon Corzine. However, Gov. Corzine said he would only do that when the economy recovers.

Corzine, too, believes shared services will lower propertry taxes along with cutbacks at the state level.

"We've reduced the payroll of the state by 8,400 people, raised the retirement age. We're doing a lot of things that, incrementally, will addup to lower the coast of government over the next fouro years," said Corzine. "That should translate into lower property taxes."

Independent Chris Daggett wants to get rid of rebates completely. His plan is to cut some taxes while expanding the sales tax to cover services like architects, lawyers and landscapers and use that money to reduce peoperty taxes.

"Property taxes we're going to cut 25% across the board to a maximum of $2,500. We're going to cut the corporate income tax for small businesss as well as large corporations by 25% on average," said Daggett.

Dagget adds, communities that exceed their spending caps won't get the property tax cut.

In a state where homeowners pay about 7% of their annual income to cover property taxes--this is one issue voters want the next governor to address immediately.

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