By David Madden
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – By week’s end, New Jersey should have a preliminary estimate on the cost of damage from Hurricane Sandy. Governor Chris Christie has warned that rebuilding won’t be totally covered by federal assistance and in some hard hit areas of the state, taxes might have to go up.
That 2-percent cap on local budget hikes includes an exception for emergencies — few, particularly in the northern part of state, would argue against Sandy falling into that category. And when all is said and done, Christie suggests at least some of the burden to rebuild will fall to victimized towns to cover.
“There’s no magic money tree, but I think people in these towns will recognize that, if they believe that the money is being spent reasonably and responsibly to rebuild their towns, they’ll be happy to do it.”
The Governor received pledges from legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle not to allow partisan bickering to get in the way of rebuilding. But Democrats in the Senate have scheduled public hearings out in the hardest hit areas starting in two weeks.