ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. — The Republican candidate for governor who counts cutting property taxes as a central campaign promise incorrectly said Tuesday that a 2 percent cap on those levies expires this year.
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said at a property tax relief news conference in a suburban Trenton senior center that the 2010 cap expires in December along with a 2 percent limit on what police officers and firefighters can get in contract disputes.
In fact, only the limit on police and fire contract disputes will end this year.
“Everything expires in December,” she said when asked to clarify whether both tax cap provisions will end. “I’m asking and challenging people to demand of their candidates is, ‘Would you vote on it now?'”
The 2 percent property tax cap, down from a 4 percent limit previously, was enacted under Republican Gov. Chris Christie in 2010. Christie counts the provision as a legacy achievement. New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation.
Guadagno’s campaign later said that only the cap on police and fire contract disputes ends this year and that she “simply misspoke.”
“She was referring to the expiration of the interest arbitration cap at the end of the year, and the open question of whether or not the 2% cap will be around next year if Phil Murphy is elected governor,” spokesman Ricky Diaz said in a statement.
Murphy, a Democrat and former business executive and ambassador, is Guadagno’s top rival. Murphy campaign spokesman Derek Roseman said Murphy is awaiting a task force report on the expiring limit before weighing in.
Roseman added that since the cap ends in December, it’s up to the Christie administration to address it.
“The interest arbitration cap sunsets on Chris Christie’s and Kim Guadagno’s watch, so this is on them,” he said in a statement.
Guadagno, who is down in the polls and at a fundraising disadvantage compared with Murphy, has made property taxes a campaign priority. She has promised she wouldn’t seek a second term if she fails to lower property taxes and has said she would deliver “immediate property tax relief.”
The election is Nov. 7. Christie is term-limited after twice being elected.