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South Jersey lawmaker pushes for more "Cap 2.5" exemptions

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June 17, 2010

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[1].

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[1]. 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."[1]

However, his Republican counterparts are opposed to having a statutory cap and more exemptions for local governments[1]. 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."[1].

Also, Moriarty criticized Massachusetts Proposition 2 1/2, the proposition "Cap 2.5" is modeled after[1]. 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[1]. One example of hardship under Proposition 2 1/2 according to Moriarty is that Massachusetts homeowners must pay for trash collection out of pocket[1].

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