PROPERTY TAX MEASURES PENDING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE
March 12, 2007
Here is a look at the measures that have been sent to the Governor for consideration:
A-1 (Roberts, McKeon) S-20 (Codey, Kenny), would cap annual property tax increases at 4 percent a year and provide tax credits of 10 to 20 percent to homeowners with annual household incomes under $250,000. Homeowners with incomes under $100,000 will get a 20 percent tax credit, those who earn $100,000 to $150,000 a 15 percent credit, and those who earn $150,000 to $250,000 a 10 percent credit. The maximum credit is $2,000. The measure provides local governments with numerous exemptions to the tax cap. For example, exemptions can be given for reductions in State aid or increased debt and interest payments. Importantly, the bill would also allow local governments to negotiate health insurance premium cost-sharing arrangements with employees enrolled in the State Health Benefit’s Plan.
A-2 (Watson-Coleman, Burzichelli) S-15 (Kenny) would establish the Office of the State Comptroller to audit State spending and contracts. The comptroller also would review local independent audits, but conduct a local audit only if an independent audit uncovers material deficiencies. As originally conceived, the comptroller was to conduct regular audits of local governments with budgets of at least $100 million per year. That provision has been removed from the bill.
A-15 (Wisniewski, Gordon) S-12 (Smith, Sweeney) would create a commission to recommend consolidation and shared services among the State’s 566 municipalities and 186 fire districts. Those recommendations would then be put to a vote in the affected municipalities. If a majority of voters approve the referendum in each municipality, those municipalities would be regionalized as the commission recommended. As originally conceived, the measure was to include provisions that would withhold State aid from municipalities where voters did not approve the commission’s recommendations. The final bill contains no financial penalties if a referendum fails.
For more information, contact Jon Moran at (609) 695-3481, ext. 121 or firstname.lastname@example.org