The $2 Trillion aid package passed last week in Washington will do a lot of good. But for the State of New Jersey and for New Jersey municipalities preparing their budget, at a time when all face almost certain revenue losses, more will need to be done. Please see our March 25 blog post for a preliminary snapshot of the CARES bill.
The State budget will be bolstered by $3.4 Billion in ‘stabilization aid.’ However that funding must be used to cover COVID-19 related costs. That, of course, is good news. But it will not help the State plug the budget gap that will be caused by lost and deferred tax collections. And, needless to say, it will not help municipal governments with the same problems.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has recognized the problem that needs to be addressed and has opened discussions with the U.S. Treasurer on another COVID-19 response bill.
The Speaker has stated that the next bill will include provisions to help states and municipalities bridge the revenue gaps that will arise due to postponed tax payments and lower collection rates. As you know, New Jersey municipalities collect property taxes on behalf of school districts and counties, as well as for their own local purposes. Only aid provided directly to municipalities, of whatever size, can help fill the gaps that all local governments will experience.
Please reach out to Senators Menendez and Booker and your Member of the House of Representatives immediately. We need to insist that stabilization aid be provided directly to MUNICIPALITIES of all sizes.