September 20, 2011
Re: Energy Tax White Paper Released
In his testimony before the New Jersey Legislature’s budget writing committees last March, League President Chuck Chiarello plainly stated, “Giving municipal property taxpayers all the relief they have coming to them needs to be a part of the ‘new normal.”
As most veteran municipal officials know, New Jersey’s two main formula-driven general municipal property tax relief programs are the Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief program (Energy Tax) and the Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Act program (CMPTRA). Though often referred to as “State Aid” programs, both are actually revenue replacement programs, intended to replace property tax relief funding that was formerly generated through taxes assessed and collected, specifically, to fund municipal programs and services.
Despite those facts, in 2010 the Governor proposed and the Legislature approved a budget that slashed an unprecedented $271 million from these dedicated municipal accounts. Over the past ten years alone, the State has now denied local property taxpayers, statewide, over $3.4 billion of relief.
The State of New Jersey has been balancing its annual budgets with dollars that should be used for municipal property tax relief for far too long. It may be the easiest thing to do, but that does not make it right.
We have prepared a White Paper to educate those who do not know the History of the Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Fund. It might also serve to remind those, who have chosen to forget, that notwithstanding that the State collects these funds, these monies are dedicated, by law, to provide relief to our over-burdened municipal property taxpayers. You can access the White Paper on our website at:
We hope that you might decide to share this information with your local media, and with your constituents. Armed with the facts, the people of New Jersey should demand from their elected servants at the State level all the relief to which they are entitled.
In our earlier letter (http://www.njslom.org/letters/2011-0413-energy-tax.html), we provided you with access to a spreadsheet that you can use to determine the extent to which the State has deprived your taxpayers of statutory relief. We also asked you to register your support for our efforts on this. If you have not yet done so, please complete the attached statement of support and fax it back to the League office, as soon as possible, at 609-695-0151.
Very truly yours,
Hon. Janice Mironov, Chair, NJLM Statutory
Funding Compliance Committee; Second Vice President, NJLM; and Mayor, East Windsor
|William G. Dressel, Jr.,
Executive Director, NJLM