MEDFORD, NJ (AP/CBSNewYork) – Members of the all-Republican township council in Medford are furious that Gov. Chris Christie is telling voters to “call their bluff” and vote down a proposed tax increase.

On Monday, Christie said on radio station NJ101.5’s “Ask the Governor” show that voters in Medford and Lawrenceville — the only towns with local tax referendums — should reject them.

Officials in the southern New Jersey town are asking voters next month to allow the town to exceed the state’s two percent cap on property tax hikes.

“We’re in a very unique situation,” Medford mayor James Pace told WCBS 880. “We’re one of two townships — as the governor  pointed out — that are going to referendum. It was the idea that the governor did say, ‘Call our bluff and don’t vote for the referendum because they’re not going to stop picking up trash.’ But quite frankly, we’re not bluffing.”

Local officials say they need to raise the town’s taxes by 25 percent to keep trash collection.

“This isn’t something I relished,” Pace added. “This isn’t something that I looked forward to doing or wanted to do; It truly is a necessity. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough revenue to simply pay for the services that the municipality is required to provide its residents.”

Pace wrote the governor, saying the proposed tax hike is not “a political game being played to manipulate the public.”

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