March 23, 2011
Re: Governor Signs S-2068, Free Public Library Dedicated Line Item
Governor Christie signed into law S-2068/A-2679, which would require property tax bills to include a line for the free public library/joint municipal library taxes, in addition to county, local, school district and county library taxes. This requirement will effectively remove the library appropriation from the municipal budget process thereby removing it from the tax levy cap.
P.L. 2011, c. 38 takes effect immediately and affects municipalities with free or joint free public libraries. However, it does not affect any additional funds a municipality may raise for municipal library purposes; those supplemental funds remain in the budget and are subject to levy and appropriation caps.
The law has an immediate impact on CY 2011 and SFY 2012 budgets in municipalities that have municipal libraries. The Division of Local Government Services has issued Local Finance Notice 2011-13 to address implementing the new law.
According to the Division, P.L. 2011, c. 38 and the Property Tax Levy Cap Law require a cap base adjustment in 2011 to reflect the change of the minimum library appropriation to a tax levy. This requires the 2010 appropriation to be treated as a “Change in Service Provider” on the CY 2011 Levy Cap Workbook to remove the appropriation from the municipal tax levy cap base.
Guidance for SFY 2012 budgets will be issued by the Division later this spring.
If you have any questions or need additional information please contact Lori Buckelew at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-695-3481 x 112.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.