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Time Running Out for the Legislature to Deliver Real Sick Pay Reform for New Jersey Taxpayers

Press Release

Location: Trenton, NJ

With only 5 days left for the legislature to act on real reform of sick and vacation day benefits, Governor Chris Christie today visited the home of Frank and Joan Deiner, lifelong residents of New Brunswick, to discuss the impact his Zero Means Zero reform proposal will have in delivering property tax relief to New Jersey families. Governor Christie has put forward a common sense policy to finally bring a complete end to the wasteful practice of paying out taxpayer dollars to public workers for unused sick days, whereas the legislature continues to push for a continuation of these costly payouts.

For 391 days, since December 2010, the legislature has failed to act on Governor Christie's conditional veto that will provide significant property tax relief to New Jersey families by eliminating cash value for unused sick days moving forward, and limiting the ability to carry forward unused vacation days to one year only. The legislature has delayed these reforms, despite accumulated sick and vacation liabilities already totaling over $825 million on municipalities' books.

In New Brunswick, the total accumulated liability is over $14.5 million, or $1330 for every property taxpayer in the city -- the highest per taxpayer total in the state -- on property taxes that already average $6,392 for New Brunswick residents.

"Time is running out for the Legislature to act on these common sense reforms to curb this expensive practice that, in reality, has a direct and significant impact on the property taxes borne by New Jersey families. In New Brunswick, the average property taxpayer, people like Frank and Joan Deiner, is on the hook for over $1300, for nothing more than unused public worker sick and vacation days," said Governor Christie. "If the Legislature is serious about delivering property tax relief and helping towns manage their budgets under the cap, they will end the delays, make this reform a priority and pass real reform before they close business on the 215th Legislative Session."

The Governor has called on the legislature to enact the remaining tool kit bills to drive down costs and deliver sustainable property tax relief to New Jerseyans, including sick and vacation benefit reform, civil service reform, and disability pension abuse reform.

Last month, a bipartisan group of 234 mayors joined Governor Christie's call for the legislature to end its delays and pass real sick and vacation pay reform to save taxpayer dollars and deliver critical budget relief to municipalities. These mayors joined the Governor in demanding action on this common sense reform that will lower costs, provide significant taxpayer savings and give local governments additional tools to manage their budgets and hold down property taxes for New Jersey families.


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