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March 11, 2009

Re:  Governor Corzine’s Preliminary Budget Analysis

Dear Mayor:

Though we don’t yet have all the specifics, we wanted to keep you up to date on our analysis of the available information. Based on the “Budget In Brief,” a preliminary publication available on the State Treasurer’s website at http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/omb/publications/10bib/AbbrevBudget.pdf, this much we know. The Governor acknowledges the sacrifices that you were called to make in this year’s budget. And it could have been a lot worse.

Next year’s budget, as proposed by the Governor, would shave an aggregate of $31.2 million from this year’s municipal property tax relief funding. The Treasurer lumps CMPTRA funding with the Energy Tax, for his purposes. The proposal calls for cuts totaling $32.1 million from these two municipal revenue replacement funds. According to the proposal, $2.9 million would be cut from Special Municipal Aid; $500,000 from Extraordinary Aid; and $700,000 from Capital City Aid. On the plus side, the proposal would increase Consolidation/SHARE funding by $5 million.

The Budget in Brief states, in a footnote, “The recommended ‘municipal aid’ reduction will be offset by local pension deferral savings and federal stimulus funds from the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.” We have reached out to the Administration to determine if this means that the funding cuts will be taken only from those municipalities that choose to use the deferral, if it passes, and/or receive Federal Stimulus COPS funding. We will let you know for certain, as soon as possible.

For the second time, by any Governor, in a budget proposal, Governor Corzine recognizes the fact that CMPTRA and the Energy Tax should, by statute, increase by the rate of inflation. We sincerely appreciate that recognition. It follows the first time inflationary adjustments were acknowledged, also by Governor Corzine in his very first budget message. According to this proposal, the State will use the $104 million, to which we are statutorily entitled, to close its gaping budget gap.

As more information becomes available, we will continue with these updates. If you have any questions, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121.

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

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