|March 12, 2008
Municipal Leaders Question Corzine’s Budget Cuts
Today, Mayor Timothy McDonough of Hope Township, First Vice President of the New Jersey League of Municipalities, led a trio of local leaders, in opposing Governor Corzine’s proposed budget for the State’s next Fiscal Year. Mayor McDonough was joined by Helmetta Mayor Nancy Martin and League Executive Director Bill Dressel, in a joint appearance before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee in New Brunswick.
(l to r) Nancy Martin, Mayor, Helmetta, Timothy McDonough, Mayor Hope Township, First Vice President of the New Jersey League of Municipalities and Willian G. Dressel, Jr, Executive Director
Mayor McDonough expressed the how drastic the impact of the cut in CMPTRA funding would be for municipalities with a population of less than 10,000. The budget proposal will eliminate all CMPTRA funding for those with less than 5,000 residents. “If you are a senior or disabled citizen living on a fixed income or a young family trying to realize the dream of home ownership, and if you happen to live in a town with a population of less than 5,000 or 10,000 that is already sharing or privatizing all the services that make sense and if this proposal is adopted, as is, then property taxes will go up.” stated Mayor McDonough.
Noting the cuts focused on smaller municipalities, Mayor Martin asked the Committee, “Where is the study or report showing communities with populations under 10,000 are less efficient, share less services and personnel, or operate without economies of scale?”
On your behalf, I raised a series of questions with the Governor’s proposal, asking, “Will budgetary consideration be given to municipalities that are already involved in extensive inter-local services arrangements? If so, (And here’s why this is important to all municipalities.) where will the money come from? … If three contiguous municipalities, all currently under the arbitrary 5,000 threshold, were to consolidate this year, and become a municipality with more than 10,000 residents, are there any assurances that their CMPTRA funding next year will be based on their former aggregate funding? If so, where will the money come from? …If any municipality, currently below one of the thresholds, grows enough, by the next census, to exceed one of the thresholds, are there any assurances that they can expect to receive their former CMPTRA funding? If so, where will the money come from? And finally, what assurances, if any, can you give mayors that this year’s arbitrary population thresholds will not be adjusted up in the future, to help the State meet further budget short-falls? Depending on how that question is answered, we may know where the money will come from. … (These) are the kinds of questions that should have been considered BEFORE any proposal was made to reduce municipal property tax relief funding by close to $190 million.”
Mayor McDonough concluded by saying, “One year after the conclusion of the Special Session for Property Tax Reform, mayors all around the State feel that the rug has been pulled out from under them. …Please restore the $190 million in municipal property tax relief that the Governor has proposed to cut for FY 2009.”
Nancy Martin Testimony
William G. Dressel Testimony
Timothy McDonough Testimony
For additional budget details, see the League website at www.njslom.com. Any questions or request for additional request for information can be directed to Jon Moran at (609) 695-3481 ext. 121.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.