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Posted on: April 17, 2020

League Officers Urge State Leaders to Remember Local Budgets

Yesterday, your League Officers – President Jim Perry, Committeeman, Hardwick; First Vice President Janice Kovach, Mayor, Clinton; Second Vice President Bill Chegwidden, Mayor, Wharton; and Third Vice President Sue Howard, Mayor, Monmouth Beach – delivered a letter to State Leadership explaining the importance of timely action on municipal property tax relief. The letter to Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin, and State Treasurer Muoio addressed the need to provide local Mayors with favorable and timely consideration of Energy Tax/CMPTRA distributions.

With the extension of the State’s current Fiscal Year through September, a Supplemental Appropriations bill dealing with the August 1 ETR/CMPTRA distribution will need to be enacted.
The letter urged State leaders to …

‘ … consider the impact that any changes to the ETR/CMPTRA distribution schedule could have on municipal cash flow. We appreciate the cash flow problems that face the State. And we hope that funding from Washington will help you to address the impact of those problems on the State’s budget. Please consider the impact that delayed distributions would have on local budgets.

‘While municipalities continue to deliver vital services to the people of New Jersey, it is only a matter of time before the virus has an impact on property tax collection rates. And, as municipal government collects property taxes on behalf of schools and counties, and must provide those entities with 100 percent of their levies, the lack of non-property tax resources and reduced collection rates will only serve to erode local services and could well necessitate staff reductions. Survey data released this week from NLC [National League of Cities] and USCOM [US Conference of Mayors] indicates local leaders in 1,000 municipalities said the reductions probably would affect their local police departments and other public safety agencies.’

Please talk to your State Legislators about this. Urge them to support timely action on the August ETR/CMPTRA distribution.

Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, jmoran@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x121.

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