Assembly Speaker: I’ll Talk to Republicans Anytime About Property Taxes
With Tuesday’s Assembly election officially in the rear-view mirror, the lame duck session has begun in New Jersey.
Assembly Republicans said it didn’t have to be lame because they had ideas about reducing property taxes, but Democrats refused to post them for a committee hearing or a vote, however, the top Democrat in the Assembly said he was always open to discussing any property tax cutting plans.
“Let’s enact ACR-18 that calls for a special session just to talk about property taxes and tax relief to the taxpayers,” said Assembly Republican Conference Leader Dave Rible (R-Wall). “They deserve it. The time has come. People are frustrated. People want change.”
The legislation has 16 Republican sponsors and one of them said that’s the reason Democrats are dismissing it.
“Just because it’s a Republican bill doesn’t mean it needs to get shelved. We need to work together,” said Assemblyman Anthony Bucco (R-Randolph).
According to the text of the resolution, there is a dire need to reform property taxes which are stifling the state's economy and making homeownership impossible for many. The resolution goes on to say that it's the Legislature's job to tackle the issue and a need to convene in a special session dedicated solely to addressing property tax relief and reform now.
Contrary to the Republicans’ claims, Democratic Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto did not dismiss the special session idea, but he said it might not be necessary if GOP lawmakers would simply reach out to him and schedule meetings.
“We could do that (special session), but I tell you, if you have ideas let’s all get together and let’s work them out,” said Prieto (D-Secaucus). “If you have ideas, let’s talk. I will give credit where credit is due. We can always work together.”
The speaker vowed he would never hide from anybody and his door would remain open. He said Republicans just need to walk through that door and have a real conversation.
“I’m willing to work with them. Whatever plans that they may have, (I’m) more than happy to sit down with them anytime, anywhere,” Prieto said.