NEWARK, NJ - Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. issued a statement today regarding Federal Tax Bill Reform and New Jersey Interest Arbitration Cap. The statement reads:
“The lower and middle class is under attack by the Trump Administration. Homeowners throughout New Jersey, especially in Essex County, will be hurt by the passage of the tax reform measure, which is more like a tax penalty for those who did not support the President. Not only are we losing the full the federal deduction for property taxes, but the incentive for home ownership will be lost and home values are forecasted to decline by as much as 10 percent,” Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. said. “Now more than ever, we need the 2 percent cap on interest arbitration. Extending this initiative will prevent exorbitant salary increases from being awarded through the arbitration process that will cripple governments and affect services. We are asking Governor-Elect Murphy and the State Legislature for their help – extend the 2 percent interest arbitration cap. Without it, Essex County and New Jersey taxpayers will see increased taxes we cannot afford,” he added.
DiVincenzo pointed out that the 2 percent interest arbitration cap has enabled Essex County to stabilize its budget and control the rising cost of government. Over the last six years, Essex County has increased taxes an average of 1.6 percent annually, significantly below the 2 percent cap on tax increases. In addition, over the last 15 years, the Essex County has increased taxes an average of about 2.6 percent, which is the fifth lowest in New Jersey.
In addition, Essex County has received numerous upgrades to it bond rating from Moody’s Investors Services and Fitch Ratings. Its rating currently is at Aa1 with both Wall Street agencies, which is one step away from the highest bond rating.