There is a ticking time bomb in the 16th Legislative District. It would cause $27 million worth of damage to families, seniors and small businesses struggling to make ends meet.
This is the amount it would cost local property taxpayers to cover all of the unused sick and vacation time accrued by public employees in the towns I represent in parts of Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex Counties. The price tag statewide is a staggering $825 million.
Public employees should use sick days when they’re sick, not as another retirement plan subsidized by overburdened families and seniors.
As a former municipal official, I understand what a problem this is for property taxpayers. As a member of the Assembly State Government Committee, I helped lead the charge to fix it.
Unfortunately, Trenton Democrats who control that committee won’t commit to real reform. Their so-called compromise was to cap these payouts at $7,500 per employee. Taxpayers deserve more.
In an effort to break the partisan logjam and achieve real savings, I would consider a proposal that allows public employees to retain their sick time for future illness, as long as it ends any payment for unused time.
Unfortunately, some Trenton politicians aren’t willing to compromise even when it’s in the best interest of taxpayers and this $27 million time bomb continues to tick because the Trenton Democrats don’t have the courage to defuse it.
I will keep pressing for real property tax reform until our hard-working families and seniors no longer have to pay for unused sick and vacation time. I encourage my constituents to call my office at 908-968-3304 or email me at AswSimon@njleg.org to let me know how you feel about this issue.
--Assemblywoman Donna Simon