June 18, 2013
RE: Urge Your Legislators to Support A-2753, Energy Receipts Property Tax Relief Initiative
Please contact your Assembly Members and urge them to advance Assembly Bill A-2753, which is scheduled for Assembly action on Thursday, June 20. This bill will phase-in the distribution of additional Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Aid to municipalities over a period of five fiscal years. Beginning in the fifth fiscal year, energy taxes would be paid directly to municipalities.
Energy Tax and CMPTRA funding for municipal property tax relief was slashed by about $28 million in 2008 and $32 million in 2009, followed by losses of about $271 million in 2010. The decision of the state to divert municipal revenues for its own use had been a major contributor to increases in local property taxes. This legislation would return that $331 million, adjusted for inflation, in 20% increments over the next 5 years. This restoration of taxes on gas and electric utilities, which were originally collected by the host municipalities, remains our top priority.
Assembly Bill A-2753 received unanimous, bipartisan approval by the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee in December. The Appropriations Committee further considered and released the bill on March 7.
As a result of an amendment adopted May 20 on the Assembly floor, the bill would now require municipalities to use the additional revenue to reduce the amounts they are required to raise by local property tax levy for municipal purposes, to reduce municipal debt, to rehire police officers and firefighters laid off in the previous four fiscal years, and for extraordinary costs related to an emergency declared by the President of the United States or the Governor. While not our preferred approach, favorable action on the bill with this amendment will allow Legislators to demonstrate their acceptance of the fact that these revenues do not belong in the State budget.
The League of Municipalities supports favorable action on Assembly Bill A-2753. We look forward to further consideration of this matter on the Senate side and to ultimate approval of legislation that will 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.
Please urge your Assembly representatives to vote “yes” on A-2753. Thank you for your consideration.
Very truly yours,
Janice S. Mironov, President
New Jersey State League of Municipalities
Mayor, East Windsor Township
|William G. Dressel, Jr.