Bloomberg News

Town Mergers Needed to Control Property Taxes, Christie Says

November 23, 2011

(Updates with Christie comment in third paragraph.)

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Consolidation of towns is needed to control property-tax growth, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said in Princeton, where voters agreed to a merger this month.

Such decisions should be made locally, Christie said today at a public meeting. Princeton township and the borough of the same name will merge after the Nov. 8 vote affirming the move.

“It’s about making choices: We can’t any longer think we can sit around and have everything we want and pay for it,” Christie said in the 90-minute meeting. “We can’t try and govern in a way that makes everyone happy.”

The Legislature should pass a measure to let towns opt out of the system that provides civil-service protections to workers in order to ease mergers, Christie said. By combining Princeton Borough and Princeton Township, taxpayer savings will amount to about $3 million a year. Christie said such consolidations are the only way to cut property taxes, which averaged more than $7,500 in New Jersey last year, the most of any U.S. state.

The community encompasses Princeton University.

--Editors: Ted Bunker, Mark Schoifet

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Trenton at tdopp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: William Glasgall at wglasgall@bloomberg.net.


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