Next week New Jersey voters will be asked again to let their voices be heard about property tax relief. Last fall voters approved earmarking half of the revenues generated through a one-cent sales tax hike for property tax relief. The question before voters on November 6 will be whether or not to approve a constitutional amendment that would devote the second half of that one-cent increase to property tax relief -- in other words earmarking the entire $1.3 billion raised by the sales tax increase for property tax relief.
Politicians in the Garden State give the ballot measure mixed reviews. Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts Jr. supports the measure saying, "passage of Public Question #1 must be priority #1." On the other hand Governor Jon Corzine opposes the question though he hasn't actively campaigned against it. New Jersey Policy Perspective President Jon Shure comes out squarely against the proposal for three very good reasons. The amendment reduces the state's ability to be fiscally flexible, it won't help the larger problem that the state continues to spend more than it collects, and it is "yet another Band-Aid applied" until the entire tax system can be fundamentally restructured.