Tuesday, May 13, 2008
LEAGUE LEADERS ASKS LEGISLATORS
TO REFOCUS STATE BUDGET ON PROPERTY TAX RELIEF
Commenting on the Treasurer’s revised revenue estimates, presented today to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, League of Municipalities’ Director Bill Dressel asks State Legislators to carefully consider the effects of the proposed State budget on property taxes.
“This morning, the Treasurer presented his revised revenue estimates to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. While those numbers are important, even more important to the average New Jersey resident is the number that will represent the Legislature’s true commitment to property tax relief. This budget, with its drastic $189 million municipal property tax relief funding cuts abandons the promise of property tax reform. The magnitude and timing of these cuts has pulled the rug out from under municipal budget-makers all around the State. For this year, for the sake of New Jersey’s long-suffering property taxpayers, we must continue to fight for meaningful, predictable and dependable property tax relief funding. And that means restoration of the full $189 million. That is the key number for New Jersey property taxpayers.
“Instead, the Treasurer today proposed a restoration of $14.9 million in CMPTRA funding, for municipalities of under 10,000 residents. That figure would be apportioned so that “… no community faces an increase in the average residential property tax bill of more than $100 as a result of the CMPTRA reduction that was proposed for small communities.” First, as indicated by the Treasurer qualifier, municipalities under 10,000 in population could still see increases of more than $100 on the average bill, due to factors other than the CMPTRA cuts. Second, the Administration has proposed funding this $14.9 million restoration by further cutting Extraordinary Aid by $7.3 million, by cutting the Consolidation Fund by $7 million, and by billing urban areas $1.5 million for State Police services.
“Full restoration of the $189 million in municipal property tax relief, slated to be cut in the Governor’s original proposed budget, would allow local budget makers to consolidate the gains made possible by last year’s modest increase. And that would provide a further boost to citizen confidence in New Jersey’s commitment to meaningful and sustainable property tax relief.”
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For further information contact: William G. Dressel, Jr., Executive Director at (609)695-3481, extension 122 or cell number (609) 915-9072.