Wharton Borough Administrator Jon Rheinhardt has developed a tool to measure annual and cumulative gaps between the amount of ETR and CMPTRA property tax relief funding municipalities received through the State & what WOULD HAVE been received under PTPA.
Our thanks to Wharton Borough Administrator Jon Rheinhardt, who has developed a tool that any municipality can use to measure the annual, and cumulative, gap between the amount of ETR and CMPTRA property tax relief funding the municipality actually received through the State, and the amount that the town WOULD HAVE received, if the State budgets had complied with provisions of the Property Taxpayers’ Protection Act of 1999 (PTPA).
The Property Tax Relief Shortfall Calculator will allow your Finance Officer to input the amounts of ETR and CMPTRA funding that was actually distributed for the benefit of your taxpayers. It will then automatically determine the amount of relief that your taxpayers SHOULD HAVE received, under the PTPA.
The PTPA, Chapter 168, P.L. 1999, was meant to assure municipalities and their taxpayers that their ETR and CMTRA relief would never stagnate in the face of inflationary pressures. It calls for annual inflationary adjustments in the distribution of ETR, beginning in 2002 (SFY 2003), and in the distribution of CMPTRA relief, beginning in 1999 (SFY 2000).
When the PTPA was introduced in the Legislature, its sponsor had this to say:
"This legislation is important to me because I believe it represents more than direct property tax relief. I believe it represents the kind of commitment from the state of New Jersey that our municipal officials and even our property taxpayers are looking for from Trenton. This initiative provides proof positive that we in the Legislature recognize the effort being made by our municipalities to keep New Jersey's communities strong and vibrant and that we are ready to lend a hand.
"Being a mayor in the new millennium shouldn't be a high wire act. And even if it is, Trenton should be prepared to provide a wider financial net. The Property Taxpayers' Protection Act is a major step in that direction."
However, because provisions included in the State’s annual Appropriations Act can supersede, during that State Fiscal Year, provisions in permanent law, it is common for State budget makers to skirt this responsibility. In fact, it has become the rule, rather than the exception.
Instead of any increase in ETR and CMPTRA relief funding, local leaders have been forced to balance their budgets, and account for the impact of inflation, with less. Funding cuts and funding shifts, along with inflation, have diminished the property tax relief potential of these vital programs. In 2001, ETR and CMPTRA provided $1.6 billion in Statewide relief. This year, the total proposed for distribution equals $1.4 billion. And that amount includes over $63 million that have been shifted, during recent years, from the Discretionary Aid program, to CMPTRA. If adjusted for inflation, 2001’s $1.6 billion would be $2.3 billion today.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst,
, 609-695-3481, x121.