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July 15, 2011

Re:       Best Practices Checklist Issued

Dear Mayor:

To follow up our July 14 Dear Mayor Letter, the Division of Local Government Services has issued Local Finance Notice 2011-18 regarding the CY 2011/SFY 2012 Best Practices Inventory Questionnaire. 

The Best Practices Inventory Questionnaire is an excel worksheet which will be submitted electronically to the Division. The questionnaire must be certified by your Chief Financial Officer and discussed at a public meeting.  Click here for the Excel worksheet.

The following are the highlights:

  • Questionnaire is due by September 1st for Calendar Year or Transitional Fiscal year municipalities.  Fiscal Year municipalities must return their questionnaire by April 2, 2012.
  • The completed questionnaire must be an agenda item for discussion at a municipal governing body meeting and the municipal clerk must subsequently file a certification confirming that the questionnaire was discussed publicly.  The discussion can occur before or after the actual submission of the questionnaire.
  • In addition to “yes” or “no” answers, the form allows the option of answering each question as “not applicable” or that compliance will be “prospective”.  “Not applicable” is only an appropriate answer if a municipality concludes that the requirement is impossible to meeting given the municipality’s circumstances and requires an explanation.  The “prospective” answer should only be used to indicate that compliance with a practice will be forthcoming in the upcoming year based on good faith efforts and direction from appropriate officials to implement the practice.
  • Municipalities can appeal to the Director their scoring at the conclusion of the process

This year’s criteria for withholding property tax relief funding will use a sliding scale up to the full amount of the final aid payment:

# of Questions scored yes, prospective, or “not applicable”

Amount of Aid Disbursed

Impact on final 5% aid payment/impact on total aid

41-50

100%

No penalty

33-40

80%

Lose 20% which equals 1% of total aid

25-32

60%

Lose 40% which equals 2% of total aid

17-24

40%

Lose 60% which equals 3% of total aid

9-16

20%

Lose 80% which equals 4% of total aid

0-8

0%

Lose 100% which equals 5% of total aid

For more information on the Best Practices Inventory please see our July 14th Dear Mayor Letter.

If you have any questions or need additional information please do not hesitate to contact Lori Buckelew at lbuckelew@njslom.com or 609-695-3481 x112.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

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