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FROM 222 WEST STATE STREET
Bill Dressel, League Executive Director

 

LOOKING FOR PROGRESS
                IN THE NEW YEAR

Bill Dressel

 

Now is not the time to look back on the last year in Garden State local government. Why would any New Jersey municipal official want to?

The road, in years ahead, might be a lot less bumpy, thanks to some of the management reforms that the Legislature advanced late last year. It can be smoothed even more, if progress is made on significant mandates relief. But it will take a while for our taxpayers to see the long-term benefits of those important initiatives.

The task at hand—crafting a 2011 budget that meets all the needs of your municipality’s citizens, and creating a climate for economic recovery, within the arbitrary and artificial 2 percent levy cap—will demand consummate skill and considerable creativity. If state policymakers really want to help, they can begin by recognizing that there is a connection between property tax relief funding and property tax relief. And, in the light of that realization, they can begin to comply with state statutes governing the distribution of revenue replacement funding, promised by laws like the Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Act and many of the component parts of the Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Act.

This year, as always, your ability to serve your constituents effectively, efficiently, economically and ethically, will depend on what happens—and what doesn’t happen—in our state’s capital. And what happens there will depend, to a great degree, on your communications—or lack, thereof—with your elected representatives, who serve in the halls of power in Trenton.

Elsewhere in this month’s edition, our League President, Mayor Chuck Chiarello of Buena Vista Township, has written a letter to you, introducing (or reintroducing) our Legislative Action program and our 2011 Legislative Priorities. Throughout the year, you will be able to track the progress of these important policies with our regular letters on legislative developments and with the Legislative Update feature of this magazine. We hope you will find this informative. And we hope you will continue to participate, as only you can, in the efforts of New Jersey municipalities to steer state-level policy in the direction of liberty and prosperity for all our fellow citizens

 

Editorial from New Jersey Municipalities, Volume 88, Number 1, January 2011

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