Property tax relief sought by mayors of Union Co.

UNION COUNTY, NJ — Several Union County mayors are supporting a Senate and Assembly bill that would provide local property tax relief to many residents.

Senate Bill 330 and Assembly Bill 3804 seek to restore funding for energy tax relief to municipalities over a two-year period. The mayors of Westfield, Summit, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Garwood have all pledged to support these bills, which could bring millions of dollars to municipalities.

According to the New Jersey League of Municipalities (NJLM), for more than a decade, state legislators have diverted funds intended for local programs, local services and local property tax relief to fund programs. of State.

The bill explains that taxes on gas and electric utilities were originally collected by municipalities, and when the state assumed the role of collecting these taxes, it promised to return the proceeds to cities for property tax relief.

But he says state officials diverted that funding from energy taxes to “plug holes in the state budget and fund state programs.”

“Instead of being spent on local programs and services or used to offset property taxes, the money was spent as successive legislatures and administrations saw fit,” the NJLM says on its website.

The bill further indicates that the diversion of these energy tax revenues to the state’s general fund has left many municipalities with serious needs and burdensome property taxes, further undermining the funding for disaster relief. property tax for years to come.

According to the website, since 2001, municipalities have lost $14 billion in energy tax revenue funding. It also says the state has reduced consolidated municipal property tax relief assistance, which includes revenue that should be returned to municipalities.

More than 200 mayors from across the state have shown their support for these two bills. The Senate bill passed unanimously in March and the related Assembly bill is awaiting a hearing.

The bill could restore about $330 million for cities in the state, the website says.

Scotch Plains Township Council also recently passed a resolution supporting the state legislation in hopes it will reduce taxes for residents.

“I am proud to join the call for more property tax relief and look forward to sharing our resolve with our state legislators and the Governor,” said Scotch Plains Mayor Josh Losardo, in a statement. “Our residents deserve their fair share of property tax relief, especially our seniors living on fixed incomes and families raising children. Restoring this fund will provide much-needed relief.”

The main sponsors of the bill are NJ Senate Speaker Nicholas Scutari, Senator Troy Singleton, Congressman David Benson, Congressman Sadaf Jaffer and Congressman Paul Moriarty.

To learn more about the bill and how you can support it, visit njenergytax.org.

Penny D. Jackson