Bill Would Put More Cops on NJ Streets
Would you like to see more cops on New Jersey's streets?
Assemblyman Gary Schaer has introduced a bill that he said would enhance public safety throughout New Jersey by putting more police officers on the streets, but it would require allowing municipalities to exceed the state's 2 percent cap on property tax hikes in certain cases.
The legislation would create a cap exclusion if the revenue that is generated is necessary to receive matching funds or grants and is used to hire more cops.
"This is needed to ensure that our municipalities receive the protections that they need and want to receive," Schaer said. "This is a way - if you will to enhance public safety, to do it in a responsible way."
According to Schaer towns currently can't apply for grants and financial aid if matching funds are required because the strict property tax cap doesn't provide room to allow them to raise the matching funds.
"Without this exclusion we are potentially putting public safety at risk and more importantly we're leaving money on the table," Schaer said.
The legislation is important, according to Schaer, but he is not going to put it on the fast-track because he has his eye on the future.
"The purpose of this bill is not short-term. It's long-term. It's possible that a municipality is not considering applying for a grant this year, but next year they might or the year after that," Schaer explained.
In addition to police officers, the legislation could also help add more firefighters to the ranks.