TRENTON, NJ - Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) stated the following regarding news that Red Bank taxpayers are on the hook for $326,000 plus interest to fund the unused sick and vacation time of five retiring borough employees.

“Senate Republicans will not stop fighting to end taxpayer funded jackpots for retiring local public employees who were fortunate enough to be healthy and accumulate hundreds of unused sick days,” Beck said. “There should be enough votes to end this gross practice that is unique to local government in New Jersey.”

The unused sick and vacation days property tax liability across New Jersey is nearly $1 billion, according to the state Department of Community Affairs.

The Asbury Park Press reported that Red Bank officials will decide at tonight’s council meeting whether to borrow $326,000 plus interest over five years to fund such employee payouts: http://www.app.com/article/20130826/NJNEWS20/308260155/Watchdog-Red-Bank-vote-borrowing-326K-fund-employee-payouts?nclick_check=1. In November 2010, the borough financed $750,000 over five years for payouts to 11 retiring employees.

“For years, our constituents have called for an end to sick-leave jackpots, and there is legislation ready to get it done,” Beck noted. “Legislative Democrats have blocked this reform to appease their special political interests in an election year. That is wrong. It is beyond time for them to finish the job with us to lower property tax burdens on our over-taxed residents.”

Senate Republicans have repeatedly urged legislative Democrats to allow votes on bills to end sick-leave payouts, this year via Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s S1564 or Senator Joe Kyrillos’ S808; most recently: http://www.senatenj.com/index.php/tomkean/kean-to-sweeney-make-mondays-session-count/14563.