February 22, 2012 - Christie Administration Protects Municipal State Aid Levels for Second Consecutive Year
Christie Administration Protects Municipal State Aid Levels for
Fiscal Year 2013 Municipal State Aid to Help Local Governments Control Property Taxes
TRENTON, N.J. – Following Governor Chris Christie's Fiscal Year 2013 Budget proposal which protects municipal aid at Fiscal Year 2012 funding levels, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today released municipal state aid figures for the coming fiscal year. Secure, stable funding for the second year in a row helps local governments to control property taxes and demonstrates that providing municipal aid in a predictable and sustainable manner for municipalities and protecting property taxpayers is a core priority of the Christie Administration. The municipal aid funding total for Fiscal Year 2013 is $1,466,700,000.
"No town in the state will see a decrease in formula municipal aid for the upcoming year. This stable funding – coupled with such reforms as the 2% property tax cap, pension and health benefit reform and a 2% cap on interest arbitration awards – is driving down the cost of local government and controlling the property tax problem," said Governor Chris Christie. "These steps are having a real impact in delivering budget relief to municipalities and finally bringing the property tax problem under control for our families. We still have further to go and I urge the legislature to continue working with me to act on reforms that will have a real impact – including ending payouts for unused sick days, promoting shared services and consolidation and enacting civil service reform and the remaining tool kit items that have been stalled."
A recent study has shown that in 2011 New Jersey had the lowest property tax growth in 20 years.
"Just as we are continuing to advance reforms to deliver sustainable, long-term property tax relief, we urge local governments to continue finding ways to operate more efficiently and reduce costs through the implementation of Best Practices. Over the last two years, this Administration has proven that it is possible to work with municipalities to affect real change on how taxpayer dollars are spent by using Best Practices," said DCA Acting Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III. "We will continue to work with local governments in their efforts to maintain fiscal constraint while funding key programs and services."
The Fiscal Year 2013 Budget proposal funds the Transitional Aid to Localities Program at $113.7 million and reflects Governor Christie's commitment to keeping this discretionary aid as a temporary program for municipalities who are transitioning to self-sufficiency. In the program's first year in Fiscal Year 2011, 22 municipalities received aid. That number dropped to 11 municipalities in the current fiscal year. It is anticipated that about 10 municipalities will receive Transitional Aid in Fiscal Year 2013; awards will be based on aid applications submitted to the DCA.
In recognition of those Transitional Aid municipalities that have made progress in restoring the integrity of their finances and controlling costs, and that have maintained full compliance with their Transitional Aid Memorandum of Understanding, the DCA is resetting a portion of their Transitional Aid as formula municipal aid. These municipalities are receiving a lower level of Transitional Aid to offset Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Aid (CMPTRA) should they decide to apply. The DCA will continue to oversee and assist distressed municipalities to reduce their dependence on discretionary aid.
The new municipal state aid figures are available on the DCA’s website at: www.state.nj.us/dca/lgs/muniaid/12_aid/11-13_st_aid_cert.xls
Information on DCA’s Best Practices program can be found at: http://www.state.nj.us/dca/lgs/bestpractice/bestpractice.htm