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November 14, 2013

RE:     Weekly Policy Update
I. League Files In Opposition to Fair Share COAH Motion
II. Property Tax Fact Sheet Available

Dear Mayor:

Here is a brief update on legislative and policy issues of interest to municipalities. 

I.  League Files in Opposition to Fair Share COAH Motion
Yesterday, on behalf of the League, Edward J. Buzak, Esq. filed a response to Fair Share Housing Center’s (FSHC) motion to enforce litigant’s rights.    In its motion, FSHC asks the Court to declare that municipalities are no longer protected from litigation by the COAH administrative process.    Further, FSHC is asking: that litigation against municipalities proceed on a case-by-case basis; that the Court give “general guidance” to the lower courts by designating certain judges to handle the cases regionally; that proceedings be consolidated; that the Court direct the lower courts to abide by the previous COAH methodology; and that the courts should proceed with dispatch.  

The League’s response opposes FSHC’s motion by asking that:      

  1. The Court should afford COAH the opportunity to complete the task it started and either adopt the regulation as proposed,  simultaneously propose any amendments or develop new regulations;
  2. In no event, should municipalities that have filed with the agency be stripped of the protection from builder’s remedy litigation; and
  3. If the Court determines that this issue must be resolved outside the agency, it should do so surgically, beginning with the body of regulations developed by COAH, and then return enforcement to the agency.

The League’s response brief is online at: http://www.njslom.org/legislation/NJLM_PDF111314.pdf.   The State also filed a motion in opposition to FSHC. 

The League will continue to advise you of all developments.  Please bring this notice to the attention of your land use attorneys and planners.  Contact: Mike Cerra, mcerra@njslom.com or 609-695-3481 x120.

II. Property Tax Fact Sheet Available
Recent Monmouth University poll results suggested that over a half of New Jersey residents would consider leaving the Garden State. And a solid majority of those, who indicated that they might leave, blamed high taxes for their disenchantment with life in New Jersey.

Your constituents might often ask about their property tax bills. The Press also raises questions. And often, local officials are blamed for situations beyond their control.

The fact is that, over many decades, decisions made by State government have contributed to New Jersey’s property tax crisis. We have prepared a point-by-point listing of some of those actions. You can access it at http://www.njslom.org/letters/Property_Tax_Facts111414.html.

Printed copies will be available at the Mayors’ Information Center, on the Exhibit Floor, at our Conference, next week, in Atlantic City.

We hope you find this helpful.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

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