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August 24, 2011

RE:     New Content on DLGS Web Site

Dear Mayor:

The Division of Local Government Service’s has posted the following new content on their website:

1.         The 2011 Best Practice Inventory CY 2011 filing date is September 1, 2011Local Finance Notice 2011-18 and a Best Practices Inventory Excel Worksheet explain the process.  The Local Finance Notice and links to the worksheet are at: www.nj.gov/dca/lgs/lfns/11lfns/2011-18.doc .  For more information on the Best Practices Inventory please see our July 19 Dear Mayor letter.

2.         The New Jersey Department Community Affairs and the League of Municipalities continue to recognize Innovation in Governance through an annual awards program.  Municipalities are invited to submit nominations for the awards program based on this year's theme - Innovative Cost Savings.   These innovative approaches will be shared with municipal leaders throughout the state at the 96th Annual League of Municipalities Conference Mayors’ Luncheon on November 16, 2011 at the Sheraton Hotel, Atlantic City.

Applications can be downloaded from the New Jersey League of Municipalities' website at www.njslom.com The nomination deadline is October 3, 2011. For more information on the 10th Annual Innovation in Governance Award program please see our July 6 Dear Mayor letter.

3.         Municipalities operating under a State Fiscal Year have been advised to review Local Finance 2011-23 "SFY 2012 1977 Budget Cap Cost-of-Living Adjustment", Local Finance Notice 2011-24 “SFY 2012 Budget Development Matters” and Local Finance Notice 2011-25 “ SFY 2012 Municipal Levy Cap Referendum Procedures", which includes a Levy Cap Workbook template for SFY municipalities.  The Local Finance Notices are available at www.nj.gov/dca/lgs/lfns/lfnmenu.shtml.

4.         Local Finance Notice 2011-21 reviews CY 2011/SFY 2012 Aid Payment Reconciliation.  The Notice includes information concerning the formula aid payment schedule, ACH deposit dates, and related information.  Individual certifications can be downloaded from the Division website at: www.state.nj.us/dca/lgs/muniaid/11_aid/11ars/menu_ars_2011.shtml.

5.         Local Finance Notice 2011-20 covers the Implementation of Pension and Health Benefits Reform (P.L. 2011, c.78).  This Notice is an explanation of the impact of Chapter 78 on local unit health care benefit programs, including employers with SHBP, commercial, joint (HIF), and self-insured benefit programs.  An extensive list of web links is included in the Notice.  Issuance of substantive new guidance will be announced through e-mails.  Copies of recent Division PowerPoint presentations on the health benefit changes are online at  www.nj.gov/dca/lgs/research/reschmenu.shtml#Health.  The presentations note that there are several outstanding issues on which additional guidance will be forthcoming in several weeks.  For more information please visit League’s Pension and Health Benefit Reform update page at http://www.njslom.org/pension-health/benefit-reform-update.html

6.         The State Tax Court has updated its website www.judiciary.state.nj.us/taxcourt/monthlyjdgmnts.pdf with the new report for July 2011.  It should be noted that you will need to reach out to your town attorney and/or assessor for copies of any stipulations that may have been taken into consideration for these judgments as they will not be listed on the report itself.  Please take note that the report is searchable by municipality.  Prior reports can be viewed at www.judiciary.state.nj.us/taxcourt/taxcaseinfo.htm.

7.         The Division of Taxation has begun mailing the 2010 Senior Freeze (Property Tax Reimbursement) checks to eligible applicants who filed by the original deadline of June 1, 2011.  Reimbursements for applications filed between the original deadline of June 1 and the extended filing deadline of October 31, 2011, will be issued as quickly as possible.  Members of the public who need assistance should be referred to the Property Tax Reimbursement Hotline (1-800-882-6597).

8.         The New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency has announced the "New Jersey HomeKeeper Program" funded thru a grant from United States Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund.  The program offers financial help to homeowners who are in danger of losing their home as a direct result of unemployment or underemployment.  It provides assistance in the form of a second mortgage loan whereby the proceeds may be used to cover arrearages and/or an approved amount of the homeowner's monthly mortgage payment, including property taxes, property insurance, and mortgage insurance.  Program details are available online at www.njhomekeeper.gov or the toll-free HomeKeeper call center at (855)-NJ-KEEP-1.

9.         The DEP Bulletin contains a list of construction permit applications recently filed or acted upon by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.  The latest issue was released August 17, 2011.  This issue can be viewed online at: www.nj.gov/dep/bulletin/bu2011_0817.pdf.

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

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