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July 8, 2010

RE: Senate Concurs with Cap CV

Dear Mayor:

Today in Trenton, the State Senate concurred with the Governor’s conditional veto (CV) of S-29 (available at http://www.njslom.org/2011FY-Budget/toolbox-news.html), amending the tax levy cap from 4% to 2%.   For our analysis of the CV, see our letter of July 6 (http://www.njslom.org/letters/ml070610-cap.html).

The final vote was 36-3. The revised bill now goes to the Assembly, which has yet to release a schedule for final action. We expect the Assembly to concur with the Governor’s CV as early as next week.

Please be aware that if you have any objections to the timing or the content of this revised cap, this is your last chance to effectively communicate your concerns with your elected representatives in Trenton. We urge you to immediately contact your two representatives in the General Assembly.

In particular, we thank Senators Shirley Turner and Bob Smith, both of whom have long been recognized as advocates for tax reform.   During discussion of the CV, the Senators rightly pointed to the shortcomings of this cap, particularly without providing local leaders the tools necessary to drive down our property taxes.  Of concern is the statement made during the discussions by Senator Loretta Weinberg, who indicated that Senate Democrats had not signed-off on the toolkit reforms.

We have been in contact with Senator Paul Sarlo, Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and Mayor of Wood-Ridge, who will be convening meetings soon to deal with unfunded mandates and management reforms that will help Mayors control costs.

In a related development, Senate President Sweeney has announced the introduction of legislation to create a six-member property tax advisory panel to track the progress of the new two-percent property tax cap and recommend potential changes to the law. The six members would include two chosen by each of the Governor, Senate President and Assembly Speaker. The Property Tax Levy Cap Task Force would undertake a three-year study of the impact of the cap law, taking into consideration the overall property tax burden and its constituent parts, including municipal finances, the structure and functions of county and municipal government and labor contracts. The task force would issue its final report to the Governor and the Legislature by November 1, 2013.

For more updates, keep checking “Governor Christie’s Toolbox News” at http://www.njslom.org/2011FY-Budget/toolbox-news.html. If you have any questions, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121.

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.                                      Hon. James Anzaldi
Executive Director                                            Mayor, Clifton City and
President, NJLM

 

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