Gov. Christie offers lawmakers compromise on property tax reform

Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) offered lawmakers a compromise on dealing with the state's property tax crisis during a special legislative session today. Christie said he will abandon the idea of a constitutional amendment as long as state lawmakers agree to his 2.5-percent property tax cap. Democrats are pushing for 2.9 percent. Christie and lawmakers were off to a rocky start ahead of the special session that he ordered the Democratic-controlled Assembly and Senate to attend. The governor began speaking at around 3:30 p.m. at what was supposed to be a joint session. Senate Democrats said they would not show up and asked Christie to speak with them separately at 6 p.m. The governor said he will keep lawmakers in session for as long as it takes to come up with a solution for property taxes. He can force the Legislature back to the statehouse, but he cannot command votes on legislation.

The Legislature has already passed a plan that caps annual property tax hikes at 2.9 percent. Christie mocked that bill as being full of holes because of its 10 exemptions.

AP wires contributed to this report.

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