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State Comptroller’s report finds 57 towns are breaking rules regarding worker payouts

A new report released this week finds that municipal workers are receiving large cash payouts for unused sick or vacation time, despite reforms that were supposed to put a stop to the practice.

News 12 Staff

Jul 8, 2022, 12:51 AM

Updated 714 days ago

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A new report released this week finds that municipal workers are receiving large cash payouts for unused sick or vacation time, despite reforms passed in 2007 and again in 2010 that were supposed to put a stop to the practice. The report found that in at least 57 New Jersey municipalities, workers are cashing in with taxpayers’ money.
“We suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg,” says New Jersey state Comptroller Kevin Walsh. “Laws that were intended to lower property taxes are being ignored and violated in a staggeringly high number of municipalities that we reviewed.”
Walsh’s bombshell report studied 60 towns throughout the state and found that 95% are violating the rules for their workers. Those towns include Palisades Park, Wall Township, Hamilton Township and Egg Harbor Township, to name a few.
“If I were a resident of one of the towns that already wasted my funds, I would want to know how this happened,” Walsh says. “Who let it happen? How much money was wasted? These are all fair questions for residents who pay taxes.”
Walsh found that the reforms, some of which were signed into law by former Gov. Chris Christie in 2010, are being disregarded. They include letting workers cash out unused sick time every year rather than at retirement, so-called “boat checks” for unused time, some of them over the $15,000 cap and allowing municipal workers to cash out unused sick time every year or before they retire and payments for unused time that are over the $15,000 cap.
“Someone either decided to disregard the law or was asleep at the switch,” says Walsh.
Walsh says mayors and residents of the towns need to start asking questions. The state Comptroller’s Office is ordering the 57 towns in the report to immediately “get the money back if possible and most importantly, to stop the waste.”
Walsh says he doesn’t know yet how much money has been wasted statewide but says the true number of towns wasting tax money could be in the hundreds.
More information about the report, as well as an interactive map, can be found on the state Comptroller’s website.


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