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August 6, 2012

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. New Local Finance Board Questionnaire: Local Finance Notice 2012-16 explains the standard questionnaire that must now be completed and submitted to the Local Finance Board prior to its considering approval for any of the following items:

  • issuance of refunding bonds/notes relating to tax appeals or emergencies;
  • waiver of the 5% down payment for bonds as required by N.J.S.A. 40A:2-11; and
  • issuance of debt with nonconforming maturity schedules.

The questionnaire may be found at www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/programs/lfb_docs/lfns_2012-16_supplemental_questionaire.doc.   Please contact the Board at 609-292-0479 with any questions.

2. 2012 Financial Disclosure Statement Filing Update: The Local Finance Board would like to thank all the municipal clerks who have electronically submitted Financial Disclosure Statements (FDS) pursuant to a new process of form dissemination and collection.  The deadline for doing so was June 29, 2012 and the Board  received overwhelming cooperation and support.  A list of municipalities, who have not yet filed any information with the Board or have submitted only Rosters, has been posted in the Clerk Document Library.  Clerks in these municipalities should immediately file the required Financial Disclosure Statements with the Board as required pursuant to Local Finance Notice 2012-8.  Mayors and governing bodies of the municipalities will be mailed a letter notifying them that their clerks have failed to meet statutory responsibilities if required documents are not received by August 14, 2012.  Again, we thank the vast majority of clerks who have helped make this new process a success.

3. CY 2012 and SFY 2013 State Aid Payment Program: Local Finance Notice 2012-15 summarizes the “state aid” payment program for CY 2012 and SFY 2013 budgets.  The state aid breakdown and amounts for each payment cycle are posted at www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/resources/fiscal_rpts.shtml.  Please select "Aid Payments Recapitulations" in the "Select the Type of Report" drop-down menu.  You will find that answers for many questions are covered in this Notice.  If you have additional questions, please call the Office of Financial Regulation and Assistance at 609-292-4806.

4. Final Tax Deduction Audit Memo: The Division of Taxation, Local Property Branch has been conducting audits of the $250 property tax deductions in municipalities throughout the State.  Beginning August 1, 2012 all audits that the State has conducted will become final as soon as the Tax Collector signs the “Acknowledgement of Property Tax Deduction Income Audit Report” letter and returns it to the State's representative.  For questions, please call Pat Turin at 609-292-6858 or email pat.turin@dca.state.nj.us

5. The NJ Uniform Construction Code (UCC) Annual Report:  NJAC 5:23-4.17 (b) require that SFY municipalities file a report that accurately portrays the receipts and expenses of the local enforcing agency for code enforcement purposes.  The UCC Annual Report fulfills this requirement, and serves as a basis of changes (if any) in the UCC fee ordinance and staffing needs for the next year.  The UCC Annual report form is available at http://fs2.formsite.com/njdca/uccrpt/form_login.html and must be submitted to the Department of Community Affairs NO LATER THAN August 10, 2012.  CFOs should share this notice with their Municipal Construction Officials.  For questions or assistance, please email the Office of Regulatory Affairs at ora@dca.state.nj.us.

Recent Reminders:

1. Office of State Comptroller Report:  On July 17, 2012 State Comptroller Matthew Boxer released an investigative report finding that an overwhelming majority of 58 local governments reviewed failed to comply with a 2007 state law requiring all public entities to determine whether their professional service providers (e.g. lawyers, engineers, auditors, etc.) were bona fide employees, as opposed to independent contractors for state pension purposes.  A copy of the complete report is available at: www.nj.gov/comptroller/news/docs/pensions_report.pdf.  Local units should review the report, together with Local Finance Notice 2007-28 and the guidance issued by Division of Pensions and Benefits and promptly take steps to comply with the statutory requirements.   Local units can expect in the future that the Division of Local Government Services will include as part of the municipal audit compliance process that auditors examine and test for compliance with the statutory requirements.  In addition, the municipal Best Practices questionnaire for this year will require municipal CFOs to certify that the municipality has complied with the existing law that requires vendors to be removed from the pension system.  Failure to comply could jeopardize local aid payments.

2. CY 2012 Statements of State Aid ("SOSA") for calendar year municipalities have been posted on the Division of Local Government Service's website:
www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/resources/stateaid_rpts.shtml.  For more detailed information please review LFN 2012-13.

3. Electric and Natural Gas Supply Procurement Guidance: As energy markets evolve, a range of vendors are offering local officials assistance in reducing energy costs.  The Division has issued Local Finance Notice 2012-12 to guide local units looking to contract with third-party electric and natural gas suppliers.  In addition, the "Local Public Contracts Law" section of our website has been updated to provide more detailed guidance on this subject.

4. Proposed P-Card Rule Changes:  The Local Finance Board has proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 5:30-9A.3 and 5:30-9A.7, which concern the use of procurement cards and electronic funds transfers.  These proposed amendments would eliminate the monetary limit currently in place for transactions involving procurement cards and electronic funds transfers, as well as allow use of procurement cards by a County Sheriff or County Prosecutor to arrange for travel, room, and board expenses of defendants, witnesses, or experts required for matters before the courts.  The full proposal is available at  http://nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/resources/rules_docs/(F)%20PRN%202012-086%20(DCA-LFB%205_30-9A%203).doc.  Please submit comments by August 17, 2012 to: Patricia McNamara, Executive Secretary Local Finance Board - Department of Community Affairs - P.O. Box 803 - Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0803 or e-mail Pat.McNamara@dca.state.nj.us

5. Historic Preservation Management Grants: The New Jersey Historic Trust is now accepting applications (www.njht.org/dca/njht/applguid/) for Historic Site Management Grants.  The grants are available for eligible recipients such as certified nonprofit organizations and agencies of state, county or municipal government.  Applications are due by September 20, 2012.  Questions can be emailed to: njht@dca.state.nj.us.

6. Mailing of 2011 Senior Freeze Checks: The Division of Taxation has begun mailing 2011 Property Tax Reimbursement (PTR) checks to eligible applicants who filed by the original deadline of June 1, 2012.  Members of the public who need assistance can call the Property Tax Reimbursement Hotline at 800-882-6597.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

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