New Jersey should revamp its income tax system to raise an additional $6 billion to reduce property taxes on most homes by more than a third, and if lawmakers don’t act, the state should hold a constitutional convention to get the reform enacted, the state’s municipal representatives recommended in a radical proposal unveiled Tuesday.
But legislators from both parties, while recognizing the need to lower property taxes, did not endorse the income tax revision proposal of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities’ Property Tax Reform Task Force, saying it would be impossible to enact. But Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden) said he does support a constitutional convention.
“I’ve polled on this issue, too. You can’t sell this in focus groups,” he said, referring to changing the income tax structure during the league’s property tax reform conference at Monmouth University in West Long Branch. "People don’t trust us."
“I think there is a need for a constitutional convention,” continued Greenwald, who has sponsored a bill (A2445) that would authorize a property tax reform convention. “The convention will be a citizens’ voice.”
New Jerseyans have complained about high property taxes for decades and Legislatures have studied and considered reforms over the same period, but have never successfully stopped taxes from rising significantly for more than a few years at a time.
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