New Jersey's 25th Legislative District

Senator Anthony Bucco

Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Mike Doherty
Senator Steve Oroho

Republican Legislators Unanimously Oppose Effort to Increase Local Borrowing

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Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee unanimously opposed legislation (Senate Bill No. 2209) advanced by Senate Democrats today that allows local governments to borrow for things that must now be paid for on a pay-as-you-go basis. The legislation allows local governments to skip a required 5% down payment on capital project costs and borrow 100% of project costs instead. The bill will saddle property taxpayers with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional underwriting fees and interest payments to Wall Street.

“Skipping a reasonable down payment is bad policy and it will increase future costs for taxpayers,” said Senator Tony Bucco (R-Morris), the Senate Republican Budget Officer.

Senator Michael Doherty (R-Warren and Hunterdon) has sponsored legislation allowing voters to have the final say on any government entity issuing debt and strongly opposed today’s legislation. “This legislation is wrong because it makes it easier for towns and counties to borrow money,” said Doherty. “It also hurts property taxpayers by forcing them to pay more interest and fees to Wall Street for excessive borrowing.”

Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) noted the irony that the legislation is being advanced as something that will save money for taxpayers. “The legislation allows prudent pay-as-you-go payments to be replaced with expensive debt,” said Oroho. “It’s a bad deal for taxpayers.”

“Asking municipalities to commit 5% – a small amount – is not unreasonable,” Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris) said. “It shows a level of commitment by the current taxpayers as opposed to kicking the entire fiscal can down the road to future taxpayers.”

Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex), a longtime proponent of lowering property taxes by reforming public employee pensions and benefits urged action on alternative reforms as the way to save money for property taxpayers. “We need to redouble our efforts to get public pensions and health care benefits under control,” said O’Toole.

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