December 6, 2012
RE: A-2753 - Would Direct Payment of Energy Taxes
Directly To Municipal Government
Assembly Committee Releases Bill to End State Diversion of Energy Tax Receipts
Today in Trenton, A-2753 was released today by the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee. League President Mayor Janice S. Mironov of East Windsor Township testified in favor of this legislation, which received unanimous, bipartisan support from the Committee.
The bill would require certain energy tax receipts to be paid directly to municipalities. This legislation would assure local property taxpayers compensation for hosting transmission facilities and lines that allow gas and electric energy corporations to serve customers and conduct business in our Garden State. Under current law, energy tax receipts are all collected by the state. Often, through the annual appropriations act, the state retains a portion of the energy tax receipts that are supposed to be distributed to municipalities under statutory law.
Thanking the sponsors, Assemblymen Daniel Benson and Wayne DeAngelo, Mayor Mironov stated:
The League’s top priority for 2013 is the restoration to municipalities of funding diverted by the state from Energy Taxes intended for local use and property tax relief. Taxes on gas and electric utilities were originally collected by the host municipalities. When the state made itself the collection agent for these taxes, it promised to return to towns all proceeds for municipal property tax relief.
For years, however, state budget makers have diverted funding from Energy Taxes to fund state programs. Instead of being spent on local programs and services and used to offset property taxes, the money has been spent as successive Legislatures and Administrations have seen fit.
The cumulative impact of years of underfunding has left many municipalities with serious needs and burdensome property taxes. Local elected officials are in the best position to decide the best use for these resources. Further, these monies were always intended to fund local programs and services and reduce property taxes.
On behalf of Mayors all around the state, we thank the sponsors and strongly support A-2753. We urge all Legislators to support this measure and to restore this funding to its intended purpose.
Please contact your State Legislators and urge them to support A-2753 and its Senate companion bill, S-1923, sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein, which awaits action in the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
If you have any questions on this, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.