South Jersey lawmaker pushes for more "Cap 2.5" exemptions
By Kyle Maichle
CAMDEN, New Jersey: As New Jersey lawmakers are racing with a July 6th deadline to get the "Cap 2.5" Amendment qualified on the November ballot, one lawmaker from South Jersey is pressing for more exemptions.
Democrat Assemblyman Paul Moriarty does not want to see "Cap 2.5" as a constitutional amendment, but as a change the property tax cap Governor Jon Corzine signed into law in 2007. Also, Moriarty's plan calls for a four year sunset provision for the cap to end in 2014. Moriarity said: "if there are unintended consequences that we see in the future, we can tweak the law to make it work best for New Jersey, as opposed to a constitutional amendment that is very difficult to do anything to once it becomes a constitutional amendment."
However, his Republican counterparts are opposed to having a statutory cap and more exemptions for local governments. First term Republican Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco from Camden re-affirmed his support for a constitutional amendment saying: "without a constitutional amendment, it's kind of more of the same old look good, feel good type reforms that haven't worked for 25 years." A spokesman for Governor Chris Christie also criticized the plan saying it: "does not go far enough, and a constitutional cap is needed to bring real spending discipline and lower property taxes.".
Also, Moriarty criticized Massachusetts Proposition 2 1/2, the proposition "Cap 2.5" is modeled after. The South Jersey lawmaker who grew up in Massachusetts told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the 1980 voter-approved cap has pit wealthier municipalities versus those that are not as wealthy when they are more successful on override referendums to go over the cap. One example of hardship under Proposition 2 1/2 according to Moriarty is that Massachusetts homeowners must pay for trash collection out of pocket.