NJ Republicans Want to Address Property Taxes [AUDIO]
Leading Republicans in the New Jersey Assembly say they understand and support the Democrat-controlled legislature's investigation into the Bridgegate scandal that continues to dog Gov. Chris Christie, but they also think a little multitasking wouldn't hurt.
"We are all aware that there are a number of investigations going on simultaneously and we respect those investigations and those should proceed to get to the bottom of what occurred at the George Washington Bridge," said Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) at a Statehouse press conference. "It's also important that we should also not forget the issues that are pending in this state, the very important issues that affect almost everyone in New Jersey."
Democrats and some Republicans have been in attack mode for weeks after emails surfaced showing members of the governor's inner circle appear to have orchestrated the Port Authority's closure of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September in retaliation against Fort Lee's Democratic mayor who refused to endorse Christie's re-election bid.
"It's almost a month now into the new legislature and the legislature hasn't taken any steps towards lowering New Jerseyans property taxes," said GOP Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Whippany). "That's the number one issue facing all New Jerseyans and it's time that this legislature focuses on that as our number-one priority."
Sky high property taxes are crushing both residents and businesses said Webber. He said eliminating six-figure payouts to retiring public employees for their unused sick and vacation days is an easy first step toward addressing the property tax problem.
"Speaker (Vinnie) Prieto (D-Secaucus) has made very clear tackling the nation's highest property taxes and soaring higher education costs, combating the state's shocking poverty rate, improving vocational education and providing all New Jersey workers with earned sick leave are among the top priorities," wrote a spokesman for the Assembly Democrats in an emailed response. "Republicans are of course welcome to join the Speaker and Assembly Democrats in these efforts."