NJLM, NJCM, NJUMA: 400 (and Counting!) Mayors Urge Fully Funded Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief

400 (and Counting!) Mayors Urge Fully Funded Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief

 

Trenton, NJ (May 18, 2023) The New Jersey State League of Municipalities (NJLM), the New Jersey Conference of Mayors (NJCM), and the New Jersey Urban Mayor’s Association (NJUMA) issued a letter signed by 401 mayors from across the state urging the State Legislature to fully fund the Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Act in the FY24 state budget. We appreciated the $75 million that was included in the FY23 budget, however, the full funding of the ETR program should be $350 million.

 

Raymond Heck, Mayor of Millstone Borough, President of NJ League of Municipalities stated:

 

“New Jersey mayors are speaking in a united voice – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents; urban, suburban, and rural; and from every region of the state – north, central, and south. The state legislature must fully fund the Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Act. It is well past time for the state to honor this obligation.”

 

Ras J. Baraka, Mayor of the City of Newark, President of the NJ Urban Mayors Association added:

 

“As Mayor of the great city of Newark and President of the NJ Urban Mayors Association, I am proud to stand with over 400 of my fellow Mayors and call for the state to make good on its promises.  We must place full restoration of Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Fund to municipalities in the 2024 Fiscal Year State Budget. The diversion of dedicated energy tax receipts to the State’s General Fund has left municipalities with serious needs and burdensome property taxes. This further jeopardizes critical property tax relief funding for years to come. Additionally, this much needed funding can be used to support community violence intervention work, provide affordable housing and offset the increased health insurance hike under the State Health Benefits Plan and many other critical needs for our communities and residents.”

 

Paul Muir, Mayor of Bethlehem Township, President of the NJ Conference of Mayors stated:

 

“These taxes were originally collected by the host municipalities, and when the State made itself the collection agent for these taxes, it promised to return the proceeds to municipalities for property tax relief. Taxes on gas and electric utilities are for the use of public land for the utilities’ equipment. The state is supposed to redistribute this funding through, not spend it.”

 

William Pikolycky, Mayor of Woodbine, Immediate Past President of NJ League of Municipalities stated:

 

“Utilities pay for the use of public lands for their equipment. This funding was once collected by local governments but is now collected by the State. Over 10 years our taxpayers have been denied this critical funding. The time has arrived to correct and restore this funding to municipalities.”

 

Nicole Gillespie, Mayor of Moorestown stated:

 

“We have been denied full funding for a decade.  In that time, municipalities were forced to reduce staff, cut or reduce services and find other ways to keep our budget balanced. And every year we collectively made those difficult choices. Now the State has the financial resources to make good on this commitment.”

 

Janice S. Mironov, Mayor of East Windsor Township, Immediate Past President of the NJ Conference of Mayors and Past President of the NJ League of Municipalities concluded:

 

“It is well past time for the diversion by state officials of this municipal funding intended for local property tax relief to end. Municipal governments currently are facing stark financial challenges and difficulties, including the dramatic hike in healthcare premium costs for our employees, huge pension increases, skyrocketing costs for solid waste and recycling collection and disposal, increased insurance costs, new state environmental mandated costs, and much more — all driving costs that will ultimately be borne by property taxpayers without relief.”

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