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Governor Weighs in on Municipal Tax Referendum

Lawrence one of only two towns to seek special vote to exceed 2 percent tax cap.

Gov. Chris Christie thinks voters should vote against special tax referendums. Speaking on New Jersey 101.5's Ask the Governor show (as reported by NJ.com), Christie said voters should not allow towns to get around the 2 percent property tax cap.

"I know they’re looking for ways to get around the cap," Christie said of the towns on 101.5’s Ask the Governor show. "They gotta find other things to cut. I think you call their bluff."

Lawrence Township is proposing that the municipal tax rate be increase 14 cents, to 98 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. A 5-cent increase is covered under the 2 percent cap, but the additional 9 cents are needed to maintain municipal trash collection, The township will levy a $28 a month fee for trash collection if the referendum fails, township officials say.

A former Lawrence mayor, Carol Harle, has been , dressed as Uncle Sam and carrying a "Vote No" sign.

Lawrence Township Manager Richard Krawczun told NJ.com that the referendum is "proactive" and being caused by "a large number of tax appeals over a very short amount of time."

Chief Wahoo April 16, 2012 at 06:24 PM
hey everyone its Governor Chrisfee, the guy who doesnt raise taxes but squeezes you every other way possible
Mary Proc April 16, 2012 at 09:05 PM
get out and vote NO if you don't you will be sorry
Ima X. Zawsted April 16, 2012 at 09:29 PM
What happened to my property tax rebate, Mr. Christie?
Let's Dance April 16, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Vote NO and attend the Council meeting on Wednesday night at 6 to tell them we don't want any new fee or higher taxes, we need more CUTS!
Curmudgeon April 16, 2012 at 10:14 PM
From the Statehouse Steps: The Democrat on Monday introduced legislation aimed at stopping municipalities from reclassifying certain services, such as trash collection, as user fees. Those fees don’t count against the 2 percent cap under current law, which lawmakers approved in 2010. The previous cap was 4 percent. Sweeney says that practice is disingenuous and detrimental to property tax payers. The Senate president says his legislation would make it clear that shifted services are still subject to the cap. Two municipalities, Lawrence and Medford, will hold votes on Tuesday asking taxpayers to approve raising taxes above the cap. It’s unclear when the legislation will be debated. http://statehousesteps.com/steve-sweeney-wants-to-close-property-tax-loophole/
Let's Dance April 16, 2012 at 10:39 PM
There are 566 municipalities in NJ and Lawrence is one out of only two municiaplites in the entire State that is asking its residents for a tax increase over the allowable 2%. This makes me sick. Every town has had tax appeals and loss of ratables, I guess those towns came up with other solutions like CUTS! You have a Rep Gov telling the residents of these two towns to vote no and a Dem Senate Pres pushing for legislation to end the extortion of imposing new fees. Seems like everybody gets it but our Council.
Thomas K. April 17, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Lets dance you hit the nail on the head. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/04/sweeney_hopes_to_end_towns_cha.html Two towns out of 566. Seems like Krawczun and one other moron made statewide news for being ineffective managers. Our council will embrace Krawzcun under some madeup guise of him being a budgetary hero and how much worse things would be if he didn't "save" us. I'm so sick of the ridiculous Lawrence political bs. It's time for change. Makes me want to throw up. I have never seen such piss poor management get rewarded by a clueless council like this. Talk about the blind leading the blind. vote NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO to this. Remember there is a reason only 2 out of 566 are voting on a referendum and that reason is INEFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT.
Diogenes April 17, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Too bad Richard Krawczun is being made the bad guy here. Remember that he works for town council and implements the policies set by elected officials. Same goes for the school board. They set the policies (like frugality) and the administration implements.
Thomas K. April 17, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Diogenes he is not being MADE the bad guy. His ineffective management caused the problem. He IS the bad guy. Council are the bad guys also for failing to correct the problem.
Blueline April 17, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Complain, complain, complain. If I recall, the residents of this town voted hands down to have an all Democrat council. This is what happens when there are no checks and balances in council and one party has free reign. Just look over at Hamilton Twp. since the Republicans took over from Happy Spending Gilmore. Go ahead and vote NO. You will pay anyway through monthly trash service bills which are not tax deductable and your recreation dept. will be virtually eliminated. Glad I don't live there anymore.
Linda April 17, 2012 at 08:22 AM
Well if that is the case how do they justify his $165,000.00 salary? What the hell is he a secretary?
Linda April 17, 2012 at 08:25 AM
Can someone answer this for me do Lawrence residents have any recall powers?
Linda April 17, 2012 at 08:30 AM
Lucky you Blueline. I have never voted for these thieves. Unfortunately there aren't too many conservatives in Lawrence. I always vote in hope these trail, tree hugging silly voters will come to their senses. They love having their bank accounts and life savings extorted by these crooks.
Stinki Garbaage April 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM
http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2012/04/two_boroughs_brace_for_upcomin.html Check out what Hopewell and Pennington pay in municipal taxes. We pay more than both of those municipalities combined! Pennington hasn't had a tax increase since 2008! Now THAT's proactive management.
Let's Dance April 17, 2012 at 03:01 PM
YES, see N.J.S.A. 19:27A-1 "Recall Elections."
LTRES April 17, 2012 at 04:00 PM
WOW! You want to pick your Mayor do ya?.....look at Trenton’s Mayor! WOW what leaps and bounds he has made!! You’re City and State Capitol is really turning around!! If you don’t like it move!! As far as Hopewell and Pennington ask those residents how long it takes for snow to be removed from their streets and roads, and how long it takes a road to open up after a storm brings down trees!! We only have on average 3-4 cops on duty over night.....I guess we really only need two because crime is so low in Lawrence. How long due you want to wait for and ambulance? Because your twp EMS is gone! Right back to Capitol Health for a yearly contract!! Let’s not forget those people you will lay off are just like you and me trying to make a dollar for there family's and KIDS!! Lay them all off! Who needs EMS, Police, and Public Works! Certainly not you! Mark my words; six months to a year from now, you will be the same twp residents complaining about what you’re not getting from your Twp. When you need help!!
fake name like you April 17, 2012 at 04:57 PM
LTRES bad comparison for the mayor as there are a multitude of good mayors around the area. I agree with everything else you said. Especially the last part about the same people complaining now will be the same people complaining when the service they need in a year isn't available. The dems are ruining this town in my opinion just as the dems are ruining this county. The GOP ran ridiculous candidates and now we are left with the brain dead. Crookzun should do the right thing and just leave. It would be in everybodys best interest.op
concerned mom April 17, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Lawrence taxes are the lowest in the area and haven't gone up much in the past ten years. Check out the cost of living in the neighboring towns and see if moving would help. Personally I would rather see a better recreation dept., more sports, and a town with a lot to offer. I would like to see where people think we can make these "deeper cuts". I personally would prefer not to live in a dump of a town. Christie's laws cut state aid to towns and force them to raise taxes so people will blame the town and not him.
Overtaxed April 17, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Jill Foret - you must have dropped from Mars! Don't spread false info, please! 2001 total tax in Lawrence was 2.670 per $100. Now, 2011 total tax in Lawrence is 4.292. That is an increase of 60%. Not much? Really?
OM Nicely April 17, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Make deep cuts? Like what? Want to start with trash collection? Or cuts for my neighbors but not for me? Cuts might sound more reasonable if those in favor had something substantial to offer besides blame and anger.
Reality April 17, 2012 at 08:22 PM
I'm sorry, but wait and see, this referendum will pass and all the Dems and Krawzun will be patting themselves on the back. Lawrence is a Dem town, like it or not, things will go the Dem way.
Thomas K. April 17, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Can the Patch make a referendum story the top story until the results.
Michael Ratcliffe (Editor) April 17, 2012 at 10:38 PM
There are multiple stories/reminders/links about the referendum and school vote at the top of the desktop version of Lawrenceville Patch. The mobile version that you get on your smart phone, iPod, etc. lists stories chronologically in the order they are posted. I have no control over where/how stories appear on the mobile version. The only way to leave a referendum story at the top of the mobile version is to stop posting all other news. I fully agree that today’s vote is the biggest and most important story in town. But to delay posting other important news or breaking news events for a day or two is counter to our goal of being a place where people can go round-the-clock to get fresh information about what’s going on. I will be camped out at the township clerk’s office tonight waiting for the polls to close and I will post the voting results as soon as I get them.
Let's Dance April 18, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Way to go Mike, The Lawrenceville Patch is hardcore! Thank you for providing great coverage and a forum to exchange our views. While we obviously don't all agree, the fact that more people have been engaged in the process is refreshing. I hope today's vote reflects that.
Thomas K. April 18, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Didn't mean any disrespect Michael. I use an iPad and found the issue to be exactly as you described. Thank you for all of your hard work.
Naomi Mat April 18, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Awesome. I thought I'd have to wait until morning to see the results. Thank you for your dedication to news.
Overtaxed April 18, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Annoucement posted on www.lawrencetwp.com: "Question #2 on the April 17 ballot to exceed the 2% cap was defeated by a 2501 to 1282 vote. These tallies are unofficial until certified by the County."
Overtaxed April 18, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Announcement from www.ltps.org: "Many thanks to those of you who voted for our budget. Unfortunately, the budget did not pass. No: 1,982 Yes: 1,770"
Stinki Garbaage April 19, 2012 at 10:26 AM
The fight is still now over. After a 2 to 1 vote and 100% unanimous anger from the residents last night, the council is STILL debating whether to move forward with the extortion. Mayor Kownacki said last night after all the residents gave them a piece of their mind that he hears us, but he still thinks the user fee is the best option. That's who's leading you. That's your mayor! Call Mayor Kownacki today and ask him what he's waiting for. Tell him to take the garbage nonsense off the table today! 844-7000 Ask for Mayor Kownacki. Tell him to take this off the table today. The vote was 2 to 1. Yesterday at council was 100% unanimous from the resdients. Don't take my garbage away. My Kownacki, what are you waiting for? ThisGarbageStinks.com - Tell your friends to flood the township until this nonsense is over. We're 75% of the way there. ThisGarbageStinks.com - until it's off the table. Keep fighting!

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