Legislation co-sponsored by Senators Anthony Bucco (R-25) and Robert Singer (R-30) encouraging shared services passed the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. This bill eases the red tape local governments face when looking to consolidate or share services.
Legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-25) and Sen. Robert Singer (R-30) encouraging shared services passed the Senate Budget Committee.(SenateNJ.com)
“New Jerseyans suffer from the highest property tax burden in the nation,” said Bucco. “Sharing services cuts the cost of doing business for government, which translates into financial savings for New Jersey taxpayers. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
As property taxes rise, both Bucco and Singer believe New Jersey municipalities need the tools and incentives to undertake joint initiatives with neighboring governments to control costs. S-1 relaxes some of the civil service obstacles that towns face when looking to combine services.
Such enticements give municipalities and residents the option to choose to combine a service with nearby towns, such as merging Emergency Medical Services or the Department of Public Works.
The bill will deduct state Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Aid (CMPTRA) from municipalities that have rejected Treasurer-approved shared services recommendations from the Local Unit Alignment, Reorganization, and Consolidation Commission (LUARCC).
“We have a precedent of both municipal consolidation and shared services success right in our backyard,” added Singer. “In 2013, the residents of Princeton Borough and Princeton Township voted to merge their municipalities, saving taxpayers an average of $200 per household on their property tax bill. This is not pocket change to the hardworking residents of our state. I am proud we can work together on a bipartisan basis to enact sensible and smart reforms to save New Jerseyans money.”
“Reducing municipal expenses translates into a lower property tax burden for their residents,” said Bucco. “While this will not solve all of our property tax woes, this legislation is a step in the right direction.”