Sunday, January 07, 2007

Corzine talk to push tax reform

TRENTON — Gov. Jon S. Corzine will try to spur action to rein in property taxes Tuesday when he delivers his first State of the State speech. While governors often use their annual addresses to pitch new initiatives, Corzine's speech is expected to focus on renewing efforts that bogged down late last year. "He will take stock of where we are and indicate that we have some unfinished business," said Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr., D-Camden. With legislative elections looming in November, when all 120 Senate and Assembly seats will be decided, and property taxes consistently named New Jerseyans' top concern, the political stakes could hardly be higher for the state's ruling Democrats. Corzine, Roberts and Senate President Richard J. Codey, D-Essex, said last week they have broad agreement on several key proposals, including a 20 percent property-tax credit for most homeowners, a 4 percent cap on annual property tax increases, increased oversight of school spending, and efficiencies in local government.

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