PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Action is expected on Monday in the New Jersey Assembly and next month in the state senate on one of the major components Governor Chris Christie has called for in his so-called “toolkit” of reforms aimed at getting property taxes under control in the state.
Only the legislature and the Governor seem to be on different courses toward changing how binding arbitration is handled between municipalities and labor unions.
Leaders in both houses of the Democrat-controlled state legislature say their arbitration reform package, which cleared an assembly committee this week, will put the onus the impartial arbitrator. The two percent property tax hike cap would have to be factored into awards and its effect explained in writing.
Both sides would also be forced to put their final best offer on the table with the arbitrator picking one. Cherry Hill Assemblyman Lou Greenwald chairs the budget committee:
“Our legislation would control and constrain property taxes by turning the arbitration process upside down, shaking it and requiring a focus on fairness to the taxpayers first.”
The sticking point seems to center on whether that two percent cap should be imposed on contract awards.
Democrats call that unfair and unrealistic while the Governor’s staff insists a hard cap is the only way to keep labor costs under control.
Reported By David Madden, KYW Newsradio