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June 19, 2012

Re:  Committee to Consider A-2921, Property Tax Relief Funding Restoration May Advance

Dear Mayor:

We have just learned that the Assembly Budget Committee has scheduled A-2921 for consideration:

Thursday, June 21, 2012
9:00 A.M.
Committee Room 11
State House Annex
Trenton, NJ

The sponsors of this bill recognize that the time has come to begin to restore to local budgets the millions that were cut to meet State needs in FY 2009, 2010 and 2011.

In State Fiscal Year 2009, combined Energy Tax and CMPTRA funding was reduced by about $26 million. In State Fiscal Year 2010, the net loss equaled about $32 million.  In State Fiscal Year 2011, the State used over $271 million of these, supposedly ‘dedicated,’ local property tax relief dollars for other purposes.

The result of those cuts was increased property taxes, increased local budget stress, deferred investments, staffing cuts and service cuts.  A-2921 ensures that each municipality in the State will be restored to the 2007 (SFY 2008) Energy Tax Receipts and Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Aid level, over 5 years.

Despite revenue gaps in the current State fiscal year, and despite slower than expected growth in Income, Sales, Corporate and other taxes, we believe the $66 million first-year municipal property tax relief restoration embodied in A-2921 remains viable. Despite slight differences in magnitude, both Treasury and OLS expect Energy Tax revenues to rebound next year.

We understand that Legislators will consider a budget bill that will provide for State tax relief, if revenue collections meet certain expectations. We have asked the Legislature to take action on a proposal that would pledge restoration of municipal property tax relief dollars in this State Fiscal Year, if similar conditions are met.

If the State is prepared to promise State tax relief, assuming revenue projections prove accurate, then the State should be prepared to promise local relief under the same conditions.

Please remind your Legislators that now is the time for action that will restore this vital funding to local budgets. That is where it was always meant to be. Ask your Assembly representatives to join as co-sponsors of A-2921.

We thank Assemblyman Troy Singleton and his co-sponsors for their leadership on this. We also thank Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Assemblyman Vincent Prieto for his support and for allowing this bill to be considered.

For more information and a link to our latest Talking Points, visit our Restoration Resource Center at http://www.njslom.org/energy-tax-resource-center.html.

If you have any questions, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 or jmoran@njslom.com

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

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