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April 17, 2013

Re:      Legislative Alert
S-2/A-1171, Shared Services Bill Threatens to Penalize Taxpayers Recent Amendments Weaken Management Reforms

Dear Mayor:

As the budget hearings wane and the Legislature prepares to return to Trenton we need to be mindful of several pieces of the legislation we oppose but could see action in the coming weeks and months. One such bill is
S-2/A-1171.

The bill increases the power of the State’s Local Unit Alignment, Reorganization and Consolidation Commission (LUARCC) and allows 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.

The bill now awaits consideration by the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee.  Please contact your Assembly Representatives and urge them to oppose S-2 and A-1171.  

As a reminder, we have prepared a sample resolution outlining our concerns with this bill, as amended. You can access it as:

PDF - www.njslom.org/resolutions/resolution_opposing_S2.pdf or
Word - www.njslom.org/resolutions/resolution_opposing_S2.doc

If you have any questions on this, contact Lori Buckelew at 609-695-3481, ext. 112 or lbuckelew@njslom.org.

Very truly yours,

Wilda Diaz
Chair, Management Reform Committee
Mayor, Perth Amboy City

William G. Dressel, Jr
Executive Director

 

 

 

 

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