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West Orange to Save $312,070 in Local Property Taxes Next Year

A new set of pension reforms will save the township money in local taxes.

West Orange Township will save $312,070 in 2013 as part of a series of pension reforms signed into law last year.

The cuts are thanks to the reforms agreed upon by the New Jersey legislative bodies and signed into law by Governor Chris Christie in June 2011.  The bill, aimed at increasing contributions to health benefits and pension payments for public employees, makes various changes to the manner in which the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF), the Judicial Retirement System (JRS), the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS), and the State Police Retirement System (SPRS)

West Orange employees will pay an additional $84,264 into their pension fund next year, while the city's police and firefighters will pay $227,806.

In addition to the extra $312,070 in savings for the employees' pensions, West Orange residents will also save $152,026 from the pensions for employees of West Orange's Board of Education and $11,339 from the West Orange Public Library employees.

“Our willingness to make the tough choices and achieve progress on meaningful reforms in a bipartisan way is continuing to deliver millions in long-term, sustainable property tax relief for Essex County middle-class families,” Christie said in a statement.  “Our commitment to taxpayers is to continue down the path of commonsense reforms that bring down the cost of government while providing tax relief.  We have an obligation to ease our overburdened middle class by delivering direct tax relief, ending the practice of cash payouts for unused sick days, promoting shared services, and closing the loopholes in the 2 percent property tax cap.  I urge the legislature to continue to work as a partner, rather than an impediment, and act on our middle-class reform agenda.”

According to a statement by the governor’s office, new lower bills will be provided to local governments showing savings of nearly $13 million for Essex County and statewide savings of $116 million due to the pension management reforms.  Pension contributions paid by local governments and funded by local property taxpayers are falling by $116 million statewide, with over $43 million in local government savings coming from the PFRS and over $72 million coming from the PERS.

The reforms are projected to save state and local taxpayers over $120 billion over 30 years.  Last year, the first year of implementing pension reform, local taxpayers saved $267 million statewide.  For the current fiscal year 2013, pension costs for local governments are a projected $241 million less this year than they would have otherwise been without reform.

Alan Sanders October 23, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Jake, That's why I said keep it in perspective. Sure, enough little savings can add up to something worthwhile and a 'small savings mindset' can get us big savings if there are sufficient opportunities, but $312,000 sounds so big that it's easy to get excessively self-congratulatory.
Alan Sanders October 23, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Also, the value of a small savings mindset, is that it's an anti-waste mindset and that too can add up. You just need a lot of this to make real per-capita savings.
Jake Freivald October 23, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Agreed on both points, Alan. I'm heartened to see even small cuts because it means there's a mentality out there that taxes should be cut or kept flat, but definitely not raised. For our state, county, and town, that's a very important mentality to have. :)
Alan Sanders October 23, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Let's just say that saving $500/yr. on their tax bill is appreciated by the 'average' taxpayer. It takes about 25 of these $312,000/yr. savings to accomplish this - $6,000,000 off the budget in a year. Doing this w/o doing too much harm is no mean feat, especially these days, but you don't get there w/o trying. Add to these 6 - '312s', unplanned savings to compensate for unplanned expenditures.
Alan Sanders October 23, 2012 at 04:57 PM
change 'unplanned savings' to 'additional savings'

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