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March 29, 2011

RE: State Treasurer Testifies on Proposed State Budget Full Budget Document Includes “Best Practices Inventory” Information

Dear Mayor:

Today in Trenton, after hearing from the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer, the Assembly Budget Committee welcomed State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff. The Treasurer testified that the Governor’s budget proposal calls for State expenditures of $29.4 billion, during the State’s next Fiscal Year.

The full State Budget proposal is now available online at Treasury’s website at http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/omb/publications/12budget/index.shtml#budget

Language included in both the Department of Community Affairs’ section of the budget document (regarding distribution of CMPTRA funding), and the Treasury section (regarding the Energy Tax), would condition distribution of 5% of the total aid (or $500, whichever is greater) of both your Energy Tax and your CMPTRA reimbursement on successful completion of a new version of the “Best Practices Inventory.” To be clear; the amount at stake is not 5% of your final payment (as it was last year), but 5% of your total allotment of both the Energy Tax and CMPTRA (or $500 of each).

If the language in the proposal is included in the final appropriations bill passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, the Director of the Division of Local Government Services will develop a new Best Practices Inventory. In developing and scoring the Inventory, the Director would need to focus on “the areas of general administration, fiscal management, and operational activities, as well as the particular circumstances of a municipality, in determining the minimum score acceptable …” The language further provides that “in no event shall amounts be withheld with respect to municipal practices occurring prior to the issuance of the Best Practices Inventory unless related to a municipal practice identified in the Best Practices Inventory established in 2010.”

Finally, the budgetary language provides that any amounts withheld, pursuant to the Best Practices Inventory process, would be “apportioned to municipalities with exemplary scores … as recommended by the Director of the Division of Local Government Services …”

Please be aware of these proposals as you work through your own municipal budget process and in the months ahead.

If you have any questions relating to the over-all budget proposal or the Treasurer’s testimony, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 or jmoran@njslom.com.  If you have any questions specifically on the Best Practices Inventory, contact Lori Buckelew at 609-695-3481, ext 112 or lbuckelew@njslom.com.

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

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