On Monday, the Senate State Government Committee also advanced S-59, which requires municipalities to share certain payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) with counties and school districts, and informs counties and school districts of urban renewal applications. For residential projects, the amount remitted to school(s) would be formula driven based on the number of school-age children attending public school residing in the approved project multiple by the school district’s budgetary base per-pupil amount included in the user-friendly plain language budget summary. For nonresidential projects or mixed-use projects, it would be 5% of the annual service charge. The bill does allow for in-kind contributions equal in value to 5% of the annual service charge.
S-59 also requires that the school(s) and county receive an informational copy of the project application to the municipality. The school(s) and county must also receive a copy of the recommendations submitted to the governing body. In turn, the school(s) and the county will have 10 days to review the proposed project and make recommendations to the municipality. While the municipality is not required to accept the recommendations they must give “due consideration to the recommendations submitted by all interested parties.”
Amendments to the bill would require the district to use any such funds to offset the levy.
In addition to the League testifying in opposition to the bill, Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac also presented testimony and his concerns with the legislation. The League opposes this bill as PILOTs remain a critical tool for economic development and the stated concern about education funding is overstated. We will continue to work with the sponsors to address our concerns.
S-59 now awaits consideration by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
• Lori Buckelew, Senior Legislative Analyst, email@example.com, 609-695-3481 x112.
• Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x120.