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Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Trenton, NJ 


League of Municipalities’ First Vice President, Mayor Tim McDonough of Hope, announced the League’s support for new legislation designed to reduce New Jersey’s chronic over-reliance on property taxes. The bill, S-1976, introduced by Senator Jeff Van Drew, would impose a $40 surcharge on all motor vehicle violations to defray the costs of providing local police services.  Companion legislation (A-2982) has been introduced in the General Assembly by Assemblymen Matthew Milam and Nelson Albano.

Senator Van Drew, commenting on the need to permanently ensure the property tax relief benefits of the surcharge, said, "A very critical part of this legislation is a poison pill that states if this fund is used for anything other than property tax relief for police services, then this surcharge can no longer be collected. This bill is a way for all towns to receive relief. Without it many towns will be facing large tax increases for police services."

“We want to thank Senator Van Drew and Assemblymen Milam and Albano for their continuing commitment to the cause of property tax relief,” said Mayor McDonough. “As current economic conditions intensify the problems facing New Jersey residents and businesses, we sincerely hope to see this bill advanced in time to help our property taxpayers, in big towns and in small, with their 2009 bills.”

Half the surcharge proceeds would be deposited in the “Police Services Property Tax Relief Fund.”  This funding would be used exclusively for the purposes of reducing the amount a municipality is required to raise through local property taxation to cover the costs of providing police services.  The moneys would be allocated proportionally among those municipalities that have full-time police departments.  The bill specifies that $1,000,000 is the largest allocation any municipality may receive in a year.  To insure that fund moneys will be available to the largest number of municipalities, the bill provides that no more than ten $1,000,000 allocations may be awarded in any one year.  The bill also provides that the smallest award a municipality is to receive is $5,000. The other half of the funding would be deposited in the “Rural Police Services Property Tax Relief Fund,” to defray the costs of providing full-time and part-time State Police in some of the State’s smaller and more rural communities. Based on the number of motor vehicle violations committed in recent years, the surcharge proposed in this bill should annually generate in excess of $80,000,000 for each fund.

“This is the right thing to do for the hard working, law abiding citizens of our State,” said Senator Van Drew, “and there has never been a better time to do it. We in the State Legislature can’t do much to control fuel prices, food prices and the rising costs of other commodities facing New Jersey families. So it is incumbent on us to do all that we can to help our colleagues in elected office at the local level control the property tax rate. And the best way to do this is to provide property tax relief to municipalities.”

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For further information contact: William G. Dressel, Jr., Executive Director at (609)695-3481, extension 122 or cell (609) 915-9072.


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