November 26, 2012
URGENT ACTION NEEDED
Re: S-2 Shared Services Bill Threatens to Penalize Taxpayers
Recent Amendments Weaken Management Reforms
(Sample Resolution Posted)
As indicated in our November 19 letter (http://www.njslom.org/letters/2012-1119-S2.html), S-2 was amended and released by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is now primed for a floor vote in the Senate. That vote could come as early as THIS THURSDAY, November 29.
Please contact your State Senator and urge opposition to S-2. Though the bill includes some beneficial provisions, we cannot support it as it now stands.
The bill increases the powers of the State’s Local Unit Alignment, Reorganization and Consolidation Commission (LUARCC). It would allow that body to advance a shared services proposal. If the municipal governing body or local voters reject that proposal, the bill would allow the State to reduce a municipality’s Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Aid (CMPTRA) funding. The cut would equal the amount of projected savings that would have been produced by the proposal, as certified by the State.
We oppose that provision of the bill; and we strongly object to the idea that voters should be threatened with a reduction in property tax relief funding, if they fail to ratify a proposal advanced by a majority of the appointed members of a State study commission.
As noted in our earlier correspondence, prior to the recent amendments, S-2 removed or reduced many of the roadblocks that increase the costs of shared services. The bill addressed things like terminal leave, pay, civil service mandates and employee tenure. The new amendments, however, weaken the management reforms that would have reduced taxpayer costs and increased service efficiency.
We have prepared a sample resolution outlining our concerns with this bill, as amended. You can access it at http://www.njslom.org/resolutions/resolution_opposing_S2.pdf or
Again, since this bill could be scheduled for final action in the Senate in a few days, please contact your State Senator as soon as possible.
If you have any questions on this, contact Mike Cerra at 609-695-3481, ext. 120 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 or email@example.com.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.