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Business groups hail property tax cap

The new state law signed by Gov. Chris Christie on July 13 that will cap property tax increases at 2 percent was hailed by the state’s two largest business groups as a needed restraint on public-sector spending.

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Gov. Chris Christie signs S-29 into law, providing families with long-term property tax relief, in Hamilton, last week. S-29 puts a cap on property taxes at 2 percent, provides for limited exceptions and puts the final authority to exceed the cap in the hands of the people. [Courtesy of Tim Larsen/Governor’s Office]

“It will mark a sea change in how government budgets are put together,” said Arthur Maurice, first vice president of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.

Maurice said employers have been forced to deal with spending restraints caused by the recession, while the government hasn’t.

Michael Egenton, senior vice president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, noted that businesses pay property taxes, and the cap sends a signal that the state wants to attract businesses.

“We’ve had to live within our means, tighten the belt — and honestly, it’s about time the public sector did the same,” Egenton said.

Both groups support the property-tax toolkit Christie has proposed to aid local officials in restraining spending.

Christie linked the tax cap to making the state more competitive and promoting job growth.

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