Today, in Piscataway, Governor Murphy presented his revised budget proposal for State Fiscal Year 2021 (SFY ’21) to the Legislature and people of New Jersey. If adopted by the Legislature, as is, the budget would hold combined appropriations for Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief (ETR) and Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Aid (CMPTRA) level for the balance of the year.
While level funding is not full funding, Governor Murphy continues to propose budgets without further deep cuts to these vital, unrestricted, statewide municipal property tax relief programs.
The proposal also calls for level funding in Transitional Aid, Capital City Aid, Open Space Payments in Lieu of Taxes, and Highlands Protection Fund Aid. It would reduce funding for the Division of Local Government’s Shared Services and School Consolidation assistance grants program, from $10 million to $3 million. And, it would eliminate funding ($4 million in SFY ’20) for Meadowlands Tax-Sharing Payments.
As the Legislature considers the Governor’s proposal, we will work with our Meadowlands municipalities to ensure that their property taxpayers get the relief to which they are entitled.
The Governor also asked the Legislature to authorize a $120 million local government emergency fund, to be administered by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). This program is intended to defray eligible municipal public safety and public health expenses, in the 12 counties that did not receive direct federal funding through the CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). This fund is also meant to support municipal investments in emergency dispatch and public health resilience. The budget proposal also looks to provide $32 million in federal funding to help those 12 counties, and municipalities therein, respond to the pandemic.
The Governor’s proposal would fully fund the Homestead Benefit and Senior Freeze property tax relief programs.
The proposal will now be considered and debated by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and by the Assembly Budget Committee, which will work to produce an Appropriations Act to govern State spending, through June, 2021. That bill will need to be passed by both Houses and sent to the Governor before the current, extended Fiscal Year ends on September 30.
In the meantime, we will continue our review of the proposal and our advocacy on behalf of all New Jersey municipalities. And, we will keep you posted.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, email@example.com, 609-695-3481 x121.