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October 3, 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. State Tax Court Report:  The State Tax Court has updated their website with the new report for August 2012.  You will need to reach out to your municipal attorney and/or assessor for copies of any stipulations that may have been taken into consideration for these judgments as they will not be listed on the report itself.  Please take note that the report is searchable by municipality.  Prior reports are available online at
www.judiciary.state.nj.us/taxcourt/taxcaseinfo.htm.  For questions, please call 609-292-6858 or e-mail pturin@dca.state.nj.us.

2. Levy Cap Exclusion for Extraordinary Expenditures: Pursuant to N.J.S.A.
40A:4-45.45.b, the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs has adopted regulations defining when costs relating to an emergency can be excluded from municipal, county or fire district property tax levies; or in other words what serves as an exception to the 2% tax levy cap.  N.J.A.C. 5:30-3.9 and 5:31-2.10 were published in the July 16, 2012 New Jersey Register as 44 N.J.R. 1971.

3. HMFA Foreclosure Relief Programs: The Department of Community Affairs and New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency recognize that many New Jersey families are currently going through or facing foreclosure.  The State of New Jersey and the federal government provide a variety of programs to assist homeowners.  Information about these programs is free.  As a service to struggling homeowners in their community, Municipal Clerks have been asked to help facilitate the posting of the following informational links on their municipality's website:

For more information on foreclosure relief programs, please call 1-800-NJ-HOUSE.

4.         Comptroller Alert on Third Party Administrators: A "Comptroller Alert" has been issued regarding hidden costs in using Third Party Administrators ("TPAs") to administer workers' compensation programs.  The Office of the State Comptroller has found that workers' compensation TPAs may be utilizing undisclosed side agreements with third party vendors which require payments back to the TPA, resulting in hidden (and potentially increased) costs to public entities.  The guidance includes recommendations designed to promote cost savings and greater transparency in the way in which those programs are administered.  For more information please see our August 30 Dear Mayor Letter.

5. The New Jersey Division of Local Government Services has entered into a unique agreement with the City of Trenton whereby the Division will recruit qualified applicants to serve as various Department heads. The Division is currently searching to fill 2 positions: Director, Law Department and Director, Housing and Economic Development.  Detailed information is available at www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/hottopics/hottopics_docs/20120905_trenton_director_positions.pdf.
All interested applicants are encouraged to apply by sending a resume and cover letter to:  Thomas H. Neff, Director, DLGS, Attention: Tina Vignali, 101 S. Broad Street, P.O. Box 803, Trenton, NJ 08625-0803 or via e-mail to dlgs@dca.state.nj.us.

6. The Division has agreed to assist the City of Asbury Park, one of the 11 municipalities under State oversight pursuant to the Transition Aid Program, in its efforts to recruit qualified applicants to serve as Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  A BA/BS in accounting or related field is required.  A CPA with NJ municipal audit experience or a licensed CMFO with supervisory experience in a complex environment is preferred.  The CFO oversees all financial management (NJSA 40A:9-140) including budget preparation, financial reporting, general ledger, payroll, accounts payable, tax collection and tax assessment.  Edmunds Software knowledge and strong computer literacy is required.  All interested applicants are encouraged to apply by sending a resume, cover letter and salary requirement to Asbury Park MaryKay.Callahan@cityofasburypark.com and cc your e-mail to DLGS Gerald.Seneski@dca.state.nj.us.

Conferences / Meetings:

1.         On October 9, 2012, a seminar on "New Jersey Pensions Eligibility and the Common Misconceptions" will be held at the Robert Meyner Reception Center at PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ from 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM.  This seminar will explain the findings of the July 17, 2012 New Jersey Comptroller Report, define Section 7.2, and explain the common misconceptions regarding eligibility and other specific factors.  CEUs have been approved and the Registration Form is available online at: www.njslom.org/seminar-documents/2012-oct-9-pension.html.  For questions please email SDelany@njslom.com or call 609-695-3481 Ext 111.

2.         On October 16 & 17, the 2012 Governor's Conference on Housing and Economic Development is being hosted by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency and New Jersey Economic Development Authority.  This year's conference will present innovative economic development strategies and engage participants in discussing how best to develop sustainable communities, neighborhood revitalization, property management, green building, housing for special populations, financial resources and more.  For more information, visit www.njhousingconference.com.

3.         On December 3, 2012, a seminar on "The Fundamental of Procurement Cards and Local Public Contracts Law" will be held at the Robert Meyner Reception Center at PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ from 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM.  Seminar topics will include enhanced accounting controls, a review of state contracts, national purchasing cooperatives and LPCL compliance.  CEUs have been approved and the Registration Form is available online at: www.njslom.org/seminar-documents/Registration-Form-120312.doc.  For questions please email SDelany@njslom.com or call 609-695-3481 Ext 111

Recent Reminders:

1.         2012 Best Practices: The submission deadline for completed inventory sheets was Friday September 28, 2012 for municipalities operating on a Calendar Year or Transition Fiscal year (SFY reversions).   Those municipalities operating on State Fiscal Year budgets must return their completed Inventory by April 1, 2013.  If you have any questions, please send an email to DLGS@dca.state.nj.us or call 609-292-6110.  For more information please see our August 27 Dear Mayor Letter

2.         2013 Transitional Aid Application Process for SFY Municipalities: Local Finance Notice 2012-19 sets forth how the 14 municipalities operating on a STATE FISCAL YEAR basis can apply for Transitional Aid.  The 552 Calendar Year municipalities will again be eligible to apply in February of 2013 for their 2013 Calendar Year.  A link to the application form is available in the Notice.  Applications for STATE FISCAL YEAR municipalities are due by September 28, 2012 so local officials have one month to review the Notice, submit applications, and all supporting documents, which include an introduced budget, set forth in the notice.

3.         User Friendly Budget:            Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:5-48, the Local Finance Board will ultimately promulgate a "user friendly" plain language budget summary, or User-Friendly Budget.  Before any formal rule proposal, the Division of Local Government Services is seeking input on a proposed User Friendly Budget data reporting template for municipalities.  Interested parties are invited to e-mail their comments to the Division at dlgs@dca.state.nj.us.  Municipalities are not being asked to fill out the document at this time.  The proposed User-Friendly Budget data reporting template may be accessed on the Division's website at http://nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/programs/mc_bud_docs/user_friendly_budget_template_pre_rule_proposal.xlsLocal Finance Notice 2012-20 further discusses the proposed User-Friendly template.  For more information please see our September 7 Dear Mayor Letter

4.         QPA CertificationsLocal Finance Notice 2012-17 provides instructions for completion of the Record of Continuing Education/Certification Renewal Application for Qualified Purchasing Agent (QPA) certifications.  The application is available at www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/programs/certification_docs/qpa_renewal.doc.
Please take a few moments to review the Local Finance Notice for important information concerning the renewal of QPA certificates.  If you have additional questions, please contact the Division's Certification Unit at (609) 292-9757, or by email at Daniel.Kaminski@dca.state.nj.us.

5.         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 for issuance of debt with non-conforming maturity schedules.  The questionnaire may be found on the Local Finance Board’s webpage.  Please contact the Local Finance Board at 609-292-0479 with any questions.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

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