Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Opening The Doors To Cooperation, Cost Saving

Legislation sponsored by New Jersey State Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) to make the process of consolidating municipal services easier and more affordable was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
Sen. Jennifer Beck’s legislation to make the process of consolidation easier is now law. (SenateNJ)
“Our towns and taxpayers have a chance to see savings through consolidations with other municipalities, but sometimes, the high costs involved in the process can scare local officials away from pursuing these opportunities,” Senator Beck said. “With this new law, they will be able spread those costs over a few years and decreases the immediate financial burden. It is my hope that this will encourage more towns to take advantage of these long-term savings.”

The legislation, S-956, authorizes a municipality to adopt an ordinance for special emergency appropriations for the payment of non-recurring expenses related to a consolidation with another town or towns. Special emergency appropriations are paid for through “special emergency notes,” which can be paid off in five years.

Under current law, municipalities can use special emergency appropriations to pay for things like preparing an approved tax map, codifying ordinances or preparing drainage maps for flood control purposes.

Municipal consolidation is seen by many as an effective tool to reduce New Jersey’s high property taxes. This law will allow consolidating municipalities to immediately begin to experience the financial savings of municipal consolidation.

The New Jersey State League of Municipalities supports this legislation.

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