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August 13, 2014

RE:   Restoration of Energy Tax Receipts Legislation

Dear Mayor:

The restoration of our municipal energy receipts by the State must remain a top priority of the League and municipal officials during this legislative term.

In this regard, an additional initiative, Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 176 / Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 131, sponsored by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo and Senator Linda Greenstein, have been introduced, which the League Energy Receipts Restoration Committee has reviewed and also supports.  ACR 176/SCR 131 mirrors Assembly Bill A-2921/Senate Bill S-1900 (sponsored by Assemblyman Troy Singleton and Senator Paul Sarlo), previously supported by the League, but instead is structured as a proposed Amendment to the New Jersey Constitution.  In 2012, A-2921/S-1900 passed both legislative bodies on bi-partisan votes then was vetoed by the Governor. A Constitutional Amendment proposal bypasses the Governor, going directly to the voters at a November general election, after it has been approved by either: 1) three-fifths majorities in both Houses of the Legislature in the same calendar year; or 2) by simple majorities in two successive years.

Like A-2921, ACR 176 provides that the energy tax receipts would be restored incrementally over a five year phase-in.  Specifically, the amendment would require that, commencing in State fiscal year 2016, municipalities receive an incremental 20 percent restoration of the amount of municipal aid reductions using fiscal year 2008 as the base, plus the annual increment.  In each of the next four State fiscal years, an additional 20 percent of this amount would be distributed to municipalities, for full restoration of the diverted funds.

Since the deadline for placing this proposal on the November 2014 ballot has passed, the earliest it could go to the voters is November 2015. As a result, ACR 176 would need to be amended to push the first 20 percent payment back to the State FY2017.

The League continues to support the following Energy Tax Receipts restoration legislation, which also could restore energy receipts prior to FY2017:

Assembly Bill A-1021/Senate Bill S-268 (companion bills), introduced by Assemblyman Daniel Benson, with 18 Assembly co-sponsors, and by Senator Linda Greenstein, with 2 Senate co-sponsors.  These bills would, over five years, phase-in the tax payments directly to the host municipalities.

Assembly Bill A-1012, introduced by Assemblyman Daniel Benson with 3 Assembly co-sponsors.  This bill would restore funding to fiscal year 2010 levels.

We need to continue to work together pro-actively for action on this important subject.  Please urge your State Legislators to support these legislative initiatives to begin the process to end once and for all State diversion of municipal energy tax receipts.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 or email jmoran@njslom.com and/or mayor@east-windsor.nj.us.

Very truly yours,

Janice S. Mironov, Chairperson
NJLM Energy Receipts Restoration Committee
League Immediate Past President;
Mayor, East Windsor Township
William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

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