COURT HOUSE — Republican Assembly candidates Mike Donohue and Frank Conrad pointed out March 5 that the so-called “omnibus” bill to fix the problems with the Council on Affordable Housing proposed by the Democratic incumbents, is just more smoke-and-mirrors from legislators that believe a bill-and-a-headline constitutes leadership.
“We don’t want COAH reformed, we want it ended. “Affordable housing” is code for government subsidized housing. We’ve seen with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac how horribly government manages housing. Now Corzine wants 566 government subsidized housing projects throughout the state and they want local taxpayers to pay for them,” Donohue says. “How can Albano and Milam continue to insist that our communities raise property taxes to pay for government subsidized housing. This is not leadership, this is smoke-and-mirrors. Stop forcing local government to raise property taxes for Corzine’s pet projects. Require the zoning necessary for construction and let the units go where they are most needed.”
On June 16, 2008, both Albano and Milam voted in favor of final passage of Assembly Bill A500, which strengthened COAH and imposed a greater burden on local taxpayers. A500 and the COAH regulations require municipalities to raise property taxes if the fund created by taxing developers doesn’t pay for enough government subsidized housing units.
“Governor Corzine and his comrades in the Legislature want to cover every inch of open space in South Jersey with affordable housing.” Conrad says. “The Court only required that local governments tailor their zoning ordinance to allow for construction of these units. Now, the COAH regulations require us to raise property taxes in order to have enough funds to build affordable housing. This proposed legislation does nothing to eliminate COAH’s ability to force tax increases on us. This is too little, too late, from legislators who have just been along for the ride.”