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December 22, 2009

Re:  Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Act (CMPTRA) Funds Restored

Dear Mayor:

We are pleased to report that Governor Corzine has balanced the State’s budget, without resorting to cuts in crucial municipal property tax relief funding.

The funding - $20 million appropriated pursuant to the Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Act (CMPTRA) - was included in the State’s ‘final’ budget for the current Fiscal Year. The funding was included in State approved local budgets. As reported in our December 1 letter, it had been withheld earlier this month, pending the development of a plan to balance the State’s budget.

We salute Governor Corzine. He and his team deserve our thanks for this. The plan he announced today will close a budget gap of $924 million and allow the state’s budget to remain balanced. And, Governor Corzine was able to do that without disrupting local budgets that were carefully crafted and balanced assuming that the State would honor its commitment to a certain level of property tax funding.

The plan identifies $839 million in state budget cuts, including a requirement for school districts to use excess surplus balances, in lieu of state aid.

This restoration of property tax relief funding will help homeowners, especially those already facing unemployment or possible foreclosure. It should inspire business confidence in New Jersey. And it will serve to bolster the careful plans of local officials, already struggling mightily to serve their fellow citizens in the midst of this recession.

The League, which had been exploring a possible legal challenge to what would have been an unprecedented State policy surprise, commends the Governor on this action.

Very truly yours,

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




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