Sunday, October 25, 2009

The case for Corzine.

With the election about a week away, perhaps it time to put all the campaign spin aside and look at the facts. For many voters, the number one issue in this election is property taxes, as it probably should be. So let’s look at Corzine's record on property taxes which have increased statewide from $13.0 billion in 1998 to $23.2 billion in 2008. 2009 numbers are not yet available.

These sound like big numbers, and they are. But in terms of Corzine's performance it is only fair to judge him on the change occurring on his watch. In 2005 the year prior to Corzine assuming office, municipalities across the state collected $19.5 billion in property taxes.  Last year they collected $23.2 billion.  How has this increase compared to what's occured in the past? Are property tax increases growing faster than before or are they declining? To answer this question we need to examine the following chart showing the growth of property taxes on an annual basis.

Source: New Jersey Division of Local Services

With Corzine assuming the governorship in 2006 and though his enactment of tax levy caps, which took effect in 2007, it is clear he has done more to reign in property tax growth than any governor in the last eight years. Chances are 2009 figures will prove this point even further.

Bottom line: For all the talk about what Corzine hasn't done...he's actually done more to assist school districts, counties, and municipalities reign in the growth of property taxes than any NJ governor to date.

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