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Posted on: January 18, 2019

Municipal Property Tax Relief and the Next State Budget

On March 5, Governor Murphy is scheduled to present his Budget Address to the Legislature and the people of New Jersey. At that time, he will propose a State spending plan for the Fiscal Year that will begin on July 1. That proposal will be the basis for further discussions, and ultimate action, on that plan.

For too many years, for municipal officials, the presentation of a State Budget has been like being taken aboard a pirate ship, blindfolded, and forced to walk the plank. You need to be prepared for the worst, all the while silently hoping it turns out to be just a team-building exercise.

Holding on to that hope, we will see, on that date, if municipal taxpayers will be given the opportunity to enjoy the restoration of property tax relief funding that is rightfully theirs. With that in mind, it is not too soon to begin to talk to your representatives in the Legislature about what they can do in the upcoming budget deliberations to help you to better help the property taxpayers who you are sworn to serve.

Wharton Borough Administrator and Chief Financial Officer Jon Rheinhardt, who also serves as President on the Government Finance Officers Association of New Jersey, has produced a presentation, State Aid (Or Is It), that details the history of municipal utility taxes (Energy Tax Receipts) and the State’s long-standing custom of diverting chunks of the proceeds to fund State-level programs.

If you are unfamiliar with the history, or in need of a reminder, State Aid (Or Is It) can give you the background you need to make the case for increased municipal property tax relief funding in the States next budget.

Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, jmoran@njslom.org, 609-695-3481, x121.


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