Tuesday, March 4, 2008
STATE RELEASES LOCAL BUDGET NUMBERS
PROPERTY TAX IMPACTS INEVITABLE
The Division of Local Government Services has just released a Local Finance Notice for calendar year budget municipalities and preliminary funding numbers, pursuant to the Governor’s recently proposed budget. With the release of these numbers, we can begin to gauge the human costs of the unprecedented proposed cuts on the residents of municipalities all around our Garden State.
The budget proposal will drastically cut CMPTRA funding for municipalities with a population of less than 10,000, whether or not they are currently sharing all the services that make sense, locally. It will eliminate all CMPTRA funding for those with less than 5,000 residents, whether or not they are currently sharing all the services that make sense, locally. In the aggregate, these cuts will total about $37 million.
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 that is already sharing all the services that make sense locally, and if this proposal is adopted, as is, then things will automatically get considerably tougher for you. They will definitely be considerably tougher than they would be if you happened to live in town with 10,001 residents.
If you have a job and pay the income tax, which provides the funding for CMPTRA, and if you reside in a town below the arbitrary population limit, then you will get less property tax relief than your co-worker, earning the same amount and paying the same income taxes, who lives in a bigger town, less than a mile away.
The Governor’s proposal would give these municipalities precedence for a share of the $32 million he would set aside for the Consolidation Fund and SHARE grants, whether not they are currently sharing all the services that make sense, locally. Please note that $22 million of the $32 million is carried forward from the State’s current budget. Municipalities that have been involved in local and regional service sharings for years couldn’t use that money. It is only for NEW arrangements. If you are already doing all the service sharing that makes sense, locally, there will be few opportunities for NEW arrangements that make sense, locally.
For many municipalities, to qualify for this funding, they will need to advance consolidation and regionalization plans that DO NOT make sense, locally.
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For further information contact: William G. Dressel, Jr., Executive Director at (609)695-3481, extension 12