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03/31/2020   Division of Local Government Services-Frequently Asked Questions
03/17/2020   LFN 2020-06 Emergency Procurement & Storm Recovery Reserve
03/21/2020   Rule Proposal NJAC 5:38 JIF Investment Regulations
03/09/2020   Reminder Re: Advance Scheduling of Debt Service Payments
11/29/2019   E-Procurement Provisional Guidance
09/25/2017   2018 & 2018-2019 Authority Budget Submission

Division of Local Government Services-Frequently Asked Questions - 03/31/2020

LOCAL FINANCE BOARD

Will the Local Finance Board (Board) application due date be extended?

Applications for the April 8,2020 meeting were due March 18, 2020. However, you may email the application to Local Finance Board staff in lieu of submitting paper copies this month. The submission cut-off will be posted when a meeting date is determined.

Will the Local Finance Board meet on its scheduled date of Wednesday, April 8, 2020?

No, the Local Finance Board will not hold a meeting on April 8, 2020. Staff is analyzing the applications submitted and the Board will schedule a meeting later this month if necessary. Information about the meeting, including any applicable web or telephonic access information will be distributed when the meeting date is announced. You may check the Board website https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/programs/lfb.html for additional alerts and developing information about the April and future meetings.

Should you have additional questions regarding the Local Finance Board, please send an email to Patricia.McNamara@dca.nj.gov.

Will the current March 27, 2020 deadline to update Financial Disclosure Statement (FDS) Rosters for the 2020 filing year be changed?

No, the due date for updating the 2020 Financial Disclosure Statement roster will remain March 27, 2020. However, please be reminded that the rosters are available for updates throughout the entire year and you may continue to make edits after the March 27, 2020 due date. The 2020 roster will not be locked until the new 2021 roster is opened during 2021.

Will the Financial Disclosure Statement deadline of April 30, 2020 be extended?

No, the deadline for filing is set by New Jersey Statute and the Local Finance Board does not have the power to change the filing deadline. However, the Board has been reasonable in its enforcement of the filing deadline in past years and anticipates extending the same courtesies borne of a reasonable understanding of individual circumstances during the current year.

What date will Local Government Officers be able to access the FDS system to file an individual Financial Disclosure Statement?

The filing system was opened on Monday, March 30, 2020. You may visit https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/resources/fds.html for more information on the Financial Disclosure Statement filing process.

For additional questions regarding the FDS filing system, please send an email to LFB_FDS@dca.nj.gov.

TAX COLLECTION

Can a municipality extend the grace period for property taxes?

No, at this time no authority exists that would allow a municipality to extend the grace period more than 10 days. This is only authorized during natural disasters, under present law:

"in the case of a municipality that has experienced a flood, hurricane, superstorm, tornado, or other natural disaster, interest shall not be charged by the municipality to a delinquent taxpayer if: . . . a state of emergency has been declared as a result thereof by the Governor less than 30 days prior to the date upon which a property tax installment payment is payable"(N.J.S.A. 54:4-67).

Below is the link to for this Notice on the DLGS website:

https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/pdf/DLGS_FAQs.docx

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LFN 2020-06 Emergency Procurement & Storm Recovery Reserve - 03/17/2020

Local Finance Notice 2020-06 has been issued to provide guidance on emergency procurement guidance and the use of storm recovery reserves for coronavirus response. 

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Rule Proposal NJAC 5:38 JIF Investment Regulations - 03/21/2020

The Department of Community Affairs is proposing amendments to N.J.A.C. 5:38-1.1 through 1.2, which pertain to long-term investments by joint insurance funds (JIFs).  The proposed amendments, which are in response to comments submitted when Subchapter 1 of N.J.A.C. 5:38 was originally specially adopted and concurrently proposed, may be found at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/resources/rules_reg.html.  Please reference the links under both the Proposed Rules and Recently Adopted Rules headings entitled N.J.A.C. 5:38-1.1 through 1.3 – Joint Insurance Fund (JIF) Investments.  The notice of proposal contains the proposed amendments for N.J.A.C. 5:38-1.1 and 1.2, while the adoption notice for N.J.A.C. 5:38 contains the original comments.

Written comments on the proposed amendments shall be submitted by March 21, 2020, via email to dlgs@dca.nj.gov or by regular mail to:

Jason R. Martucci, Esq.  
Administrative Practice Officer
Division of Local Government Services
Department of Community Affairs  
PO Box 803
Trenton, NJ 08625-0803

For comments submitted via email, please name the subject heading NJAC 5:38-1: Joint Insurance Fund Investments.

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Reminder Re: Advance Scheduling of Debt Service Payments - 03/09/2020

The Division of Local Government Services reminds local units that they have the ability to schedule debt service payments in advance to ensure payments are issued automatically on a future date.

Although debt service payments are subject to Local Finance Board regulations concerning electronic funds transfer authorization and certification of availability of funds, a properly authorized and certified payment may be scheduled to take place electronically on a future date.  Local units may also contract a bank to act as a paying agent for debt service obligations to assure payment are made. 

In the past, many towns have availed themselves of this option during times of environmental crisis or anticipated operational uncertainty to ensure the core governmental obligation to pay debt service is met. Others schedule debt service payments in advance as a matter of routine to lighten the local administrative burden.

Although the Division has no reason to anticipate an immediate need, given the recent attention to the potential impacts of coronavirus, the Division issues this reminder as a general precaution and to remind local units of an option available to ensure the continued regular operation of government.

Should you have any questions about how to properly schedule debt service payments, please do not hesitate to contact the Division for more information.  

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E-Procurement Provisional Guidance - 11/29/2019

Local Finance Notice 2019-15 (https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/19/2019-15.pdf) offers provisional guidance on use of electronic procurement pending adoption of regulations implementing the Local Government Electronic Procurement Act (P.L. 2018, c.156). 

 

Pending Division adoption of e-procurement regulations, and subject to the provisional guidance in LFN 2019-15, contracting units subject to the Local Public Contracts Law or Public School Contracts Law may continue to utilize electronic procurement platforms for the purchase of electricity and natural gas, the online sale of SRECs, and the sale of personal property through an online auction.  Contracting units are no longer authorized to solicit and accept bids through online procurement platforms for any other commodities, goods, or services, regardless of whether an online procurement platform had been approved under the prior E-Procurement Pilot Program. 

 

Please review the Notice for further details.

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2018 & 2018-2019 Authority Budget Submission - 09/25/2017

Local Finance Notice 2017-19 provides guidance for local authority budget submissions for fiscal years starting on or after January 1, 2018 through fiscal years starting on June 1, 2018.  Documents are now available on the Division of Local Government Services website.  The website has separate documents for housing authorities and all other authorities.  For Authorities with fiscal years starting on or after July 1, 2018, the Division will be rolling out a new web-based Financial Automation Submission Tracking system (“FAST”) that will replace the Word Document and Excel Workbook currently utilized in the Budget Package.  Additional announcements and information will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. All announcements and updates regarding FAST implementation will be posted to the Division’s website and distributed via GovConnect.  

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Updated: 04/03/2020