On Monday, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed the Supplemental Appropriations bill that will permit state spending to bridge the gap between the usual end of the Fiscal Year, on June 30, and this year’s final day, September 30.
This bill, A-3, appropriates $298.6 million in Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Aid (CMPTRA) ($209 million of which will be distributed as if it were Energy Tax Receipts, so that the State can avoid the ‘poison pill,’ while again failing to increase municipal property tax relief funding)and $364 million in Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief (ETR) assistance (funded not through the taxes on energy utilities, but from the Property Tax Relief Fund, that is, the income tax proceeds). Crucially, these appropriations will allow the State to make the full August 1 ETR/CMPTRA payments – representing 45% of the annual amount due – on time. A-3 also includes $2.2 million for Highlands Watershed Moratorium Aid. And, the bill also addresses Election Administration support, with $2.5 million for County Election Board mail-in ballot aid, and $3.8 million to support extended polling place hours.
The bill does not include the use of federal CARES Act funding, to create the local aid program, proposed by the Governor. Those federal funds were to be administered by the Division of Local Government Services, with priority given to the county governments that did not receive direct CARES Act aid. That fund may be created by another legislative initiative.
We thank Governor Murphy, State Treasurer Muoio, and the bill’s sponsors – Assemblymembers Pintor Marin and Burzichelli and Senators Sarlo and Cunningham – for sparing municipal officials the severe problems that occur, whenever the State ignores their efforts. By preserving the August property tax relief distributions, despite the challenges faced by the State, this interim budget act makes local pandemic response and recovery efforts a lot less difficult.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x121.