On Thursday the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee released the following Path to Progress bills:
• S-3760 would require municipalities, counties, school districts, and local authorities to regularly meet to discuss shared service agreements. The bill would also reduce a municipality’s State aid by 5% for failing to meet at least twice each year to discuss shared services as required under the bill. The League expressed our concerns with this legislation and will be working with our local government partners at New Jersey Association of Counties and New Jersey School Boards Association to address our collective concerns with the bill.
• S-3761 would establish a County and Municipal Study Commission. The League long supported the work and mission of the old County and Municipal Study Commission and thus supports this legislation.
• S-3762, in addition to making changes on the common level range, would expand the provisions of Gloucester County Property Assessment Pilot program (P.L. 2009 c. 118) to permit any county governing body, except those that adopted the Real Property Demonstration Program, to adopt by ordinance the Property Tax Assessment Reform Act. Besides our concerns with S-3762, we strongly believe that before any legislation moves forward making changes to the property assessment function there must be a wholesale study of the property assessment functions that includes a review of the two pilot programs.
• S-3764 would require counties to appoint shared services coordinators and would appropriate $2.0 million to fund the appointments. This legislation would require counties to hire a county shared services coordinator and would provide grant monies of up to $95,000 per county to offset the costs associated with the establishing the new position.
• S-3767 would establish a pilot program to permit the use of generally accepted accounting principles in certain county and municipal annual financial statements.
• S-3768 would require shared services agreements to include, in addition to what’s already required under current law: performance evaluation criteria, procedures for determining fee adjustments, alternative dispute resolution procedures, and exit procedures to govern dissolution agreements.
• S-3769 would permit county police departments to provide police services to municipalities.
It is our understanding that these bills will now be 2nd referenced to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for further consideration, possibly over the course of the summer. We will continue to work with the sponsors, Senate President, and stakeholders to address our concerns with the proposed legislation.
Contact: Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x120.