Christie the Compromiser?

Yep, the governor today offered to eschew his prized 2.5 pct cap constitutional amendment. He told the Legislature that he could live with a statutory cap of 2.5 percent.
The Democrats already have passed a 2.9 percent cap; so it would need to be lowered just a bit to get to 2.5.
But there is more. Christie wants exceptions only for debt service and existing labor contracts. The Dems’ cap has many more exemptions than that, including one for the health and welfare of residents. Well, that includes just about everything …
The feeling here is that the Dems will be under pressure to go along now that the governor has met them more than half-way.
Let’s not underestimate the fact that Christie’s moving away from the constitutional  amendment is a big thing, He had made it the centerpiece of his tax reform plan and, as we know, has held a number of town meetings around the state, including one in Roxbury, to hype the idea .

Now, he’s moving on without it.


About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

14 Responses to Christie the Compromiser?

  1. P says:

    Expect the governor to beat up the legislature until they pass his compromise, and then next year he can demand that everyone running take a pledge to support a change to the constitution to lock it in forever. This stops the legislature from running the clock out on him, which would have been the case if they didn’t get it out of committee by next Wednesday. Now, he can keep them in session ALL SUMMER!

    Priceless Quote of the Day – Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), the chairman of the budget committee, said he didn’t know exactly what to say. “I’ve got to think about it for a moment. Give me a moment here.”

    Christie is playing chess whilst the Dems are playing checkers.

  2. Don’t know about that, P, ,,, This is a big compromise offer for the gov.

  3. Tea Party voter says:

    I personnally would rather see it on the ballot, and let the voter’s decide. why couldn’t we do it both ways? The statute (legislative bill) could not be constitutional.

  4. P says:

    A war is rarely won with just one battle. And Christie has shown that he’s a man with a plan.

  5. P says:

    Oh, and what do you think the Dems will do?

  6. Ted says:

    P, as Snowflack said, this is a big compromise. If Christie really thought the constitutional amendment had any chance, his counter might have included limits on unfounded state mandates. It appears he’s givien up the whole idea of amending the constitution.

    Really P, how can Christie limit municipal spending when he won’t guarantee a limit on the state’s ability to shift costs to municipalities? Even a lot of Republican mayors woudn’t get suckered into that.

  7. P says:

    Stuff flows down hill. Always has, always will. Feds screw the states with things like the new ObamaCare plan’s Medicaid coverage extension. States screw munis and school districts with their own mandates, unfunded or otherwise. Still shouldn’t stop the imposition of the hard cap requested. If everyone says it’s the other guys fault, we’ll just see tax increases at all levels that we can no longer afford to live here.

    We need a 2.5% Cap on all levels of state and local governments. Now!

    And in keeping with the their Head-in-the-Sand stance, the Dems, led by the esteemed double-dipper from Bergen county, Sen. Paul Sarlo, opened today’s session with more obfuscation and lies.

    “Christie was “trying to create a fake crisis with a fake deadline,” said Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), budget committee chairman said in an opening statement.”

    Really senator, we don’t have a Financial Crisis in NJ?! Talk about Clueless.

  8. Ed Ramirez says:

    The real truth here is that the only difference is that a statute can be more easily changed than a constitutional Amendment. The cap can be raised by a bill pasted in the legislators, but Chris Christie still has a veto that can not be overridden. The Governor will ultimately have his victory and that is a good thing for all of NJ. Once again our new Governor has done what he said he was going to do.

  9. Ted says:

    Today’s op-ed talks about the many loopholes the softer 2.9% legislation would allow and suggests NJ could improve on the MA hard cap but like P, the author provides no concrete suggestions.

    With a hard 2.5%, Trenton can slide programs to munis, which would have no alternative other than to cut it or other services. I’d say that is sleazy governance. If Trenton wants to cut, the state house should take the political risk and do so. Or the state might take over services currently provided by the munis and raise income tax. Actually, I don’t think Christie would take the later approach but the former would be in his ‘tool kit”.

    If municipal loopholes aren’t an option for Christie then why doesn’t he reduce the need for them by imposing a few caps on himself and future governors? We can’t just trust that there’s a future plan. Let’s do it now

  10. Kevin Nedd says:

    This newly announced 7/3/10 “2% cap” compromise makes Christie look weak. The 2% cap is essentially worthless with the exemptions as advertised.. This will do nothing to “LOWER” property taxes, which is what this governor promised as a candidate. 2013 can’t come fast enough.

  11. P says:

    The only thing that I see that’s weak is Nedd’s “argument.” In his zeal to oppose Anything Christie, he’s ignored the brilliance of this move. A 2% cap with few exceptions means that the rate of increase of property taxes will drop to less than 3%, and possibly less than 2.5% for the first time in decades. And once this is locked into place, Christie can start banging away to make it part of the state’s constitution. I’m sure Nedd will sign up to help with that effort.

    A week ago the Dems insisted that nothing less than a 3% (2.9% to be precise) with so many loopholes that it might as well have been 10%, would do. Now, Sweeney is down to 2% with four exceptions, all specific, and Speaker Oliver will have no choice but to climb on board. Pretty good work for a guy whose been on the job for less than 6 months. Contrast that with Obama who’s spent the first 18 months in office adding programs we can’t afford,piling on debt, and doing nothing to fix the economy or the leak in the Gulf.

    If I were Nedd, I’d worry more about getting his guy re-elected in 2012. At this point, it’s virtually a lock that whomever the Dems put up to face Christie in 2013 will get a serious butt whipping.

  12. Ed Ramirez says:


    For someone that did nothing as a councilman you have little room to criticize our Governor. Please spare us you BS you have no room to be in the room

  13. Kevin Nedd says:


    1. I was a Committeeman, not a Councilman. Try and learn the difference.

    2. In the year of my election, an all-Republican Washington Township Committee unanimously passed an 11.1% tax increase. During my three year tenure as Finance Chair, our tax increases DECLINED to 4.1%, 3.2%, and 2.3%. In the two year since I left office our tax increase have be larger than they were when I left. In order to mask their incompetence, our Mayor abolished the position of Finance Chair so as to not have the performance any Republican who assumed compared to mine.

  14. Kevin Nedd says:


    While you may not like what he’s done, the President has accomplished more in his first 18 months in office than any recent president. The facts speak for themselves.

    As for a DEM running against Christie in 2013, the script will be simple. He or she will ask the voters of New Jersey to look at their property tax bills. If they are lower, he or she will say, “Vote for the Governor, because he has lived up to the promise he made to you four years ago”. “But if your property tax bill is higher, you know what you have to do. It’s called ACCOUNTABILITY!”

    Time will tell…

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