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May 4, 2009

RE: New York Governor Makes Mandates Relief a Major Priority

Dear Mayor:

We don’t often write on property tax relief developments in other States. But something is happening in our neighbor to the North that should serve as an example to your colleagues in the public’s service, at the State level, here in our Garden State.

On Monday, April 27, New York Governor David Paterson issued an Executive Order aimed at reducing the costs of government and providing meaningful and sustainable property tax relief. (Governor Paterson’s Executive Order can be viewed at http://www.ny.gov/governor/executive_orders/exeorders/eo_17_print.html.)

The Order cites the importance of State-local cooperation and in no way tries to blame local officials for New York’s property tax problems. Instead, it directs the State bureaucracy to actively solicit the input of local officials during the development of new regulatory and statutory initiatives. It requires State agencies to document the fiscal impacts of any such proposals, to conduct an honest cost-benefit analysis, to demonstrate the participation of local governments in the process and to propose sources of revenue to fund the new mandate.

The Order, further, directs all state agencies to review all their existing regulations and to report back to the Governor’s Senior Staff, by December 1 of this year, with proposals detailing changes “... which could reduce the impact of existing mandates on local governments and generate property tax relief for New York State property taxpayers.”

As you know, we have asked Governor Corzine and the Legislature to provide meaningful and sustainable relief to our property taxpayers this year by reviewing and eliminating or relaxing existing State mandates. (Visit the “State of New Jersey Fiscal 2010 Budget” page on our website at http://www.njslom.org/2010-State-Budget.html for more on our efforts, to date.)

We have asked to meet with Governor Corzine on this and have forwarded a copy of Governor Paterson’s Executive Order to our Governor’s Senior Staff. We will also be contacting key Legislative Leaders on this development.

We urge you to contact your own State Legislators and urge them to get behind this effort to relieve New Jersey property tax burdens by altering or eliminating existing State mandates.

We have also asked you to direct your staff to provide us with an analysis of the effects of state mandates on your budgets. We thank those of you who have gotten this information to us and we hope others will do the same.

If you have any questions, please contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121.

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director


      

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