Department of Community Affairs Releases Fiscal Year 2012 Municipal State Aid Figures
TRENTON, N.J. – Following Governor Chris Christie’s fiscal year 2012 budget proposal which secures stable municipal state aid at fiscal year 2011 levels, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today released municipal state aid figures for the coming fiscal year, further enabling local governments to control property taxes. The Governor’s fiscal year 2012 budget provides certainty for municipal officials’ budget planning and eases the transition to the new fiscal realities under the 2 percent property tax cap. The municipal aid funding total for fiscal year 2012 is $1,453,800,000.
“This administration recognizes that municipal governments are once again facing tough choices, which is why municipal state aid is a core priority in this budget,” said Governor Chris Christie. “Municipal officials must use this preserved aid and the new 2 percent cap on property tax levies to help drive down the tax burden on New Jersey families throughout the state. Furthermore, local governments should embrace the ‘New Normal’ and continue to reevaluate their budgeting practices and move toward zero-based budgeting to replace inefficient or ineffective spending commitments.”
“The DCA will continue the Best Practices Initiative program as a means of encouraging municipal governments to reduce costs, operate more efficiently and with greater accountability for how they spend scarce taxpayer dollars. Beginning in July at the start of the fiscal year, state aid withheld from towns that do not implement best practices will be returned as rewards to those towns that excel at adopting innovative, cost-effective ways of doing business,” said Commissioner Lori Grifa.
The Transitional Aid to Localities Program was created last year with the requirement that this special aid is temporary help for a few years and will be reduced as required reforms are put in place. A total of $159 million in Transitional Aid was provided to assist 22 municipalities in fiscal year 2011. This aid program will be reduced by $10 million, or 6 percent, to $149 million in Fiscal Year 2012. As such, the DCA will continue its efforts to reduce distressed municipalities’ dependence on discretionary state aid and work with municipalities to restore the integrity of their finances after only a temporary period of emergency help.
The new municipal state aid figures are available on the DCA’s website at: http://www.nj.gov/dca/lgs/muniaid/aidmenu.shtml.