Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden) authored the most recent bill that modified NJ's current housing policies. It passed in the senate yesterday by a vote of 21-16. One of these changes was to stop municipalities from paying poor cities to take on the burden of offering affordable housing on their behalf. Half of these Democratic senators must be in the pocket of the developers because that is the only reason I can think of behind these types of bills.

We live in a country that supposedly professes a belief in the free market. That supply and demand, determined by the consumers and suppliers, is the best method of determining prices and inventories. But then big government comes in and believes that they can do it better. They lay out these "master" plans and design a more "equitable" society. But to do so they must tax everyone at a higher rate to pay for this equality. They also have to infringe on the rights of local government and on its residents. Right now if a town does not have enough affordable housing a developer can come in and build large inexpensive apartment complexes with the township being forced to sell them the land. These inexpensive apartments bring more families which entail bringing more children which increases the costs of education and uses of public roads, parks, sewers, and so on. The town must then spend more money to maintain all of these services but have no new houses or properties to tax and therefor must increase the property taxes for everyone in the town.

There is supposed to be a 4% cap on property tax increases but there are so many exceptions and loopholes that this cap seems to be just a safety blanket that the residents snuggle up with in the hopes that it will keep them safe from the monster hiding beneath their bed. We need property tax reform and we need housing policy reform in NJ. It is already incredibly expensive to live in this state and we don't need the government making it any harder for us then they already have.

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