Tags: sandy | cleanup | taxes | damages

NJ Taxes May Climb to Cover Sandy Cleanup

Wednesday, 14 Nov 2012 11:10 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says some residents in towns hit by Hurricane Sandy may face higher taxes to pay the costs of cleaning up after the massive storm.
Christie said while federal aid will cover much of the cost of rebuilding infrastructure damaged in the storm, some towns will need to exceed a two percent property tax increase limit, the Bergen County Record reported Wednesday.
The two percent limit was established by law, but it contains an exception that allows town raise revenues to deal with emergency situations.
The Republican governor promised the state would make sure towns don’t try to exceed the 2 percent cap for expenses unrelated to the storm. But he said most New Jersey residents are reasonable and “they’ll be happy" to pay the extra taxes if the money is spent “reasonably and responsibly.”
Little Ferry Mayor Mauro Raguseo said it’s good to put the cleanup expenses outside the property tax cap, but unfair to slam hard-hit storm victims with higher assessments to cover the cleanup.
Raguseo said he, like other mayors around the state, plans to seek 100 percent reimbursement for storm cleanup and repair costs. The government’s usual limit is 75 percent, but he said the other 25 percent would total in the millions and would not be affordable.
No concrete figures on damages from Sandy have been released, but Christie said estimates, as well as state revenue projections, should be ready for release this Friday.

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