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November 10, 2017
Mayors Look for Solutions on Property Taxes
102nd Annual Conference of the League of Municipalities
November 14th to 16th, Atlantic City Convention Center
18,000 municipal officials, exhibitors, program
participants, and guests are expected to attend the largest annual
gathering of municipal officials in the country. The 102nd Annual
League of Municipalities Conference will be held at the Atlantic City
Convention Center from Tuesday, November 14, through Thursday, November
A full conference program of over 100 educational sessions scheduled for the three-day event is available (PDF) or you can download the free NJLM Conference App at your device’s App Store to download.
Governor-elect Phil Murphy is confirmed as the keynote for the Delegates Luncheon on Thursday, November 16.
League President Albert Kelly, Mayor of Bridgeton, noted
that the League Conference provides a platform and an opportunity for
“The League Conference offers great educational opportunities for
elected and appointed officials, but also provides local elected
leaders the opportunity to meet and network with their peers from
across the state. Since our legislative leaders will also be speaking,
it allows local leaders the opportunity to make their cases for
property tax relief.”
The gathering is a launch pad to discuss the issues
impacting municipalities, including local, state, and national
concerns. New Jersey’s taxpayers identify property taxes as their
number-one concern, one shared by New Jersey’s mayors, based on the
preliminary results of a Mayors’ Policy survey being conducted by the
Mayors identified their top policy priorities as property
taxes, school funding, the extension of the 2% cap on interest
arbitration awards, affordable housing, pension and health funding, and
the restoration of the energy tax receipts funding to municipalities.
Additionally, 87% of the responding mayors indicate that
they support the permanent extension of the 2% cap on interest
arbitration awards, which is set to expire at the end of the year.
Further, 67% of the responding Mayors expressed support for a citizens’ convention to address property taxes.
The survey process will continue through the end of the
year. During the course of the week, there will be educational
sessions on many of the issues identified by the responding Mayors.
League Executive Director Michael J. Darcy added,
“These preliminary survey results demonstrate what we already
knew anecdotally. Local leaders are seeking tools to help further
control property taxes. The Legislature must recognize that
municipalities operate under a separate 2% cap on annual spending that
does not expire; and that local officials work hard every day to
control costs and make tough decisions to ensure services remain at a
level their community expects. The 2% cap on interest arbitration must
be extended because all the evidence demonstrates clearly that it
resulted in a curtailing of property tax increases.”
League First Vice President James Cassella, Mayor of East
Rutherford, who is anticipated to assume the Presidency of the League
at the conclusion of the Conference, said:
“In the upcoming year, the League will actively engage
the Legislature and the new Administration on solutions to address
property taxes. First, we call on the Legislature to put our taxpayers
and working families first and extend the 2% cap on interest arbitration
awards before the December 31 deadline. From there, the Legislature
needs to address other cost drivers for local governments, such as
continuing the progress made on school funding this past year, making
sure there are protections for taxpayers in any contemplated changes in
pension and health benefits and finally restoring the statutorily
required energy tax receipts funding to local governments.”
Members of the media registering on-site at the Annual
Conference should present their credentials at the “On-Site
Registration Booth” in the Atlantic City Convention Center. The
League’s public information liaison person will be Lori Buckelew (Email Lori Buckelew).
At the Conference she can be paged from the registration counter or
the League Information Booth across from the registration counter.
Email Michael J. Darcy, CAE, or call 609-695-4381, ext. 116.
Email Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director and Director of Government Affairs, or call 609-532-2494