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Police and Law Enforcement Home  > Blog  >  Deadline for 2% Raise Cap Approaches Blog

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Deadline for 2 Percent
 Cap Approaches
Police and Law Enforcement News
Thursday, March 20,  2014
  9:32 p

The race is on.

We are two weeks away from the expiration of Governor Chris Christie's infamous arbitration cap. 

There is at least one bill on the table which would permanently extend the cap. 

Time will tell.


A cap on raises for police and firefighters — a temporary, but key component in Governor Christie's 2 percent limit on property tax increases — expires in two weeks and Republicans are looking for a quick and permanent fix.

Democrats gave the salary cap near-unanimous support three years ago but now are not saying if they would support keeping it.

In 2010, Christie signed a law that capped increases in tax rates at 2 percent; before that they had averaged nearly 8 percent a year.

He also signed a law that capped raises awarded to police and firefighters in salary arbitration at 2 percent. But Democrats in the Legislature fought to make that temporary; it expires April 1.

Police and firefighter contracts can be a significant share of a municipal budget. Before the cap was in place, unions were often given raises of around 4.5 percent. That figure is now 1.9 percent after the cap, according to a report released Wednesday by a task force that studied the law.

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon, R-Monmouth, proposed a bill Wednesday to permanently extend the cap.

Because the cap on increasing the property tax levy does not have an expiration date, the arbitration cap should be permanent as well, O'Scanlon said.

"The math was then and is now the same," O'Scanlon said. "You can't have a cap on a municipality's ability to generate revenue and not have a commensurate cap on arbitration awards."

When the bill to put in temporary arbitration limits was passed in 2010, only one Democrat, Assemblyman Charles Mainor of Jersey City, voted against it.

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, voted for the temporary arbitration cap. His spokesman declined to comment Wednesday on O'Scanlon's proposal.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, D-Hudson, also voted for the original arbitration cap. His office did not return calls for comment. "How can you not have something like this in place when you have a 2 percent cap on your tax levy?" said Fanwood Borough Mayor Colleen Mahr, a Democrat. She said if the cap was not in place, other services may need to be cut.




















Deadline for 2% Raise Cap Approaches








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