HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP: Officials oppose temporary cap on fire and police contracts

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Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
The Hopewell Township Committee has come out squarely in opposition to the sunset provision of a temporary 2-percent cap on police and fire arbitration contract awards, which is due to expire next month.
The State Legislature approved the temporary 2-percent cap on police and fire arbitration awards in 2010. It was due to expire in 2014, but state lawmakers extended the sunset to December 2017.
A 2-percent cap on the property tax levy, which was enacted at the same time in 2010, is permanent and does not include an exemption for police and fire arbitration contract awards.
Municipalities continue efforts to contain costs and provide vital services to residents within the 2-percent property tax cap, the resolution states, noting that “salary costs, to a great extent, drive property tax increases.”
If the cap on police and fire arbitration awards expires and the 2-percent property tax cap remains, towns will be forced to reduce or eliminate municipal services in order to accommodate salary increases, the resolution says.
“The governing body of the Township of Hopewell urges the State Legislature to extend the 2 percent cap on police and fire arbitration contract awards for five more years, at which time the Legislature will have hard data to examine and then make a final decision as to whether this law should be made permanent,” the resolution states.