Two weeks ago the state Senate unanimously passed Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman’s bill to remove financial impediments hindering towns from merging.
“The passage of this bill brings a positive message to New Jersey’s overburdened property taxpayers that there is a bipartisan commitment in the legislature to lower our nation-high property taxes,” said Bateman, R-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Sussex. “We must provide our ample number of local governments with any possible measures to encourage money saving shared services and mergers.”
Senator Bateman’s legislation allows merging towns to adopt resolutions to use emergency financing and state funds over five years for any one-time consolidation expenses, involving land acquisition, moving, records and uniform costs. It would immediately assist Princeton Township and Borough, in Bateman’s 16th District, on their road to a merger that could set an example for other municipalities. It eliminates immediate financial detriments and burdens associated with consolidation.
Bateman and his 16th District Assembly colleagues originally introduced similar bill S-3146 last session and S-910 in January, before Senator Robert Gordon (D-38) introduced his copy, S-1114.
S-1114 was passed and amended this session by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee in order to allow municipalities to exempt merger costs from the 2-percent levy cap. It now awaits Assembly action.
“I urge my Assembly colleagues to move this government efficiency measure, so we can ease the burden on governments willing to provide their taxpayers with long overdue property tax relief by eliminating waste and duplicative services.”
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