I. Vital Municipal Revenue Bill Advances
On Monday, with a unanimous vote, the Assembly State and Local Government Committee released A-2991, a bill that would end over a decade of confusion about the telecommunications business personal property tax (BPPT). We want to thank Hopewell Borough Mayor Paul Anzano and Town of Newton Councilman Matt Dickson for their testimony in support of this bill.
The bill now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for further consideration. The members of that Committee are:
Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli, Chair and the bill’s sponsor
Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer, Vice Chair
Assemblyman Brian Bergen
Assemblyman Wayne P. DeAngelo
Assemblyman Antwan McClellan
Assemblywoman Gabriela M. Mosquera
Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin
Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney
Assemblywoman Cleopatra G. Tucker
Assemblyman Jay Webber
To date, over 120 municipalities have been denied the use of these BPPT funds by telecommunications providers, which have misinterpreted a 1997 statute that required them to annually compensate municipalities for local services.
In each year since 2008, more and more municipalities have been told by the providers that they had determined that they were no longer subject to the tax.
Assemblyman Burzichelli represents two of those towns – Elmer and Penns Grove. Likewise, Assembly Schaer represents Little Ferry, Passaic, Ridgefield Park, Rutherford, Hackensack and Wood-Ridge. Assemblyman Bergen represents Morris Township, Morristown, Mountain Lakes, Netcong, Rockaway and Roxbury. Assemblywoman Mosquera represents Laurel Springs and Lindenwold. Assemblyman Rooney represents Allendale, Franklin Lakes, Ho Ho Kus, Midland Park, Pequannock, Riverdale, Waldwick and Wyckoff. Assemblywoman Tucker represents Nutley. And Assemblyman Webber represents Butler, Jefferson and Parsippany Troy Hills.
Only Committee Members DeAngelo, McClellan and Pintor Marin come from Districts not yet suffering from these revenue losses. Not yet. But that is likely only a matter of time.
Please contact your representatives in the General Assembly and urge them to support A-2991.
For more details on the bill see our October 16 Weekly Update, item I.b.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x121.
II. Governor Conditionally Vetoes Multiple Bills Dealing with Law Enforcement Body Cameras
On Monday, Governor Murphy conditionally vetoed S-1163/A4271 (PDF) , which dealt with funding of law enforcement body cameras, and A4312/S-101 (PDF), which established parameters for law enforcement body worn cameras for law enforcement when carrying out their official duties.
The conditional veto of S-1163/A-4271 is especially notable for municipalities. The Governor remarked that the initial cost of more than $55 million to purchase nearly 26,000 body cameras and the available money in the identified funding source of less than $1 million created a potential unfunded mandate due to the insufficient funding mechanism. As the League had argued before and after the Legislature approved the bill, the Governor recommends making the requirement optional, conditioned on the availability of sufficient funding.
A-4312/S-101 establishes parameters on how and when law enforcement officers in New Jersey use body worn cameras in carrying out their official duties. The legislation does not reflect the nuances in the use of body worn cameras reflected in applicable Attorney General Guidelines. The Governor suggested incorporating changes to this bill to enhance the utility and effectiveness of this technology in the context of policing.
Contact: Paul Penna, Legislative Analyst, email@example.com, 609-695-3481 x110.