By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – A New Jersey legislator wants to expand exemptions to the state’s two-percent cap on property tax and budget increases to help put more cops and fire fighters on the street.

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Many towns simply can’t afford matching payments required for substantial federal, state and non-profit grants without exceeding legal limits on tax increases.

North Jersey Democratic Assemblyman Gary Schaer wants to change that:

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“What the bill does is it allows those municipalities to fund that additional piece outside of the cap.”

That is, without going for voter approval. That exemption is now limited, for the most part, to emergencies, debt repayment, pension contributions and the cost of health care.

Schaer believes if residents don’t like their towns taking advantage of his proposed exemption, assuming it’s approved, they have a viable option — vote them out.

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