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Police officers and their salaries "can't be sacrosanct in this process," Christie said while discussing the budget with The Record's editorial board. Other governors have tried using rebate checks and state aid hikes to offset the state's notoriously high property tax bills, which have risen to a record average of $7,281 statewide. But Christie said the 2.5 percent cap on local spending hikes that he proposed on Tuesday along with the new state budget will cut costs to achieve property tax relief. "There's no question that when I say we need to have a constitutional amendment on spending that that's going to affect (police officers') ability to be compensated at the same levels as they have been compensated before and I think it should happen that way," Christie said. "And candidly they're a big driver on the municipal side of the expenses that we have and they need to come to the table and contribute too."