WAYNE, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill on Tuesday that aims to help New Jersey towns control costs and ease property tax increases.

The bill would cap salary awards, including longevity pay and automatic step increases, for police and firefighters at 2 percent when their unions engage arbitrators to settle contracts. It also fast-tracks the arbitration process.

Pension and health care costs are not included in the cap, which will lapse in three years.

Christie praised Democratic legislative leaders for their help passing the bill, which is part of the governor’s package meant to stem property tax increases above 2 percent.

Christie signed the bill in Wayne.

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