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September 7, 2012

RE: DCA Develops New Budget Reporting Tool

Dear Mayor:

In recent years, the Legislature has passed a number of laws requiring the Department of Community Affairs to implement policies to increase transparency on the local level.

To comply with these various laws, while minimizing the reporting burden on local officials, the Division of Local Government Services has worked to develop a single document.

In its Local Finance Notice, released today (, the Division indicates that the goal is to have this document in place for 2013 budgets. Further, the LFN notes that the expectation is to ultimately incorporate it into the budget itself, when we convert to electronic budgeting by 2014. This will, then, replace the cumbersome paper filing process. A copy of the spreadsheet itself is available by clicking here

Moving deliberatively, since the topic is important but very complex, the Division is seeking comments and recommendations for improvement from a wide cross-section of sources. The goal is to develop the most useful user friendly budget possible, which elected officials will find helpful as a tool to set policy, and which gives the public a thorough understanding of local budgets.

We urge you and your management team to review the Local Finance Notice and the draft document. If you have any comments or recommendations for the Division, please forward a copy to us.

If you have any questions, contact Lori Buckelew (609-695-3481, ext. 112 or or Jon Moran (609-695-3481, ext. 121 or

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director




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