ASSEMBLY APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
ASSEMBLY, No. 302
with committee amendments
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
DATED: APRIL 4, 2016
The Assembly Appropriations Committee reports favorably, Assembly Bill No. 302, with committee amendments.
As amended, this bill requires the distribution of additional State aid to municipalities under the “Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Act.” Budget constraints required reductions in the amount of Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Aid (CMPTRA) distributed to all municipalities in Fiscal Years 2009, 2010, and 2011. Some municipalities also experienced reductions in their Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Aid (ETR Aid) distribution during that period. This supplemental funding would restore, over a five-year period, approximately $331 million in reductions to CMPTRA and ETR Aid.
In Fiscal Year 2017, municipalities would receive an aid increase equal to 20% of the difference between their total payment of CMPTRA and ETR Aid in Fiscal Year 2008 and Fiscal Year 2012. Municipalities would receive equal increases in each of the following four fiscal years. The fully restored amount would be distributed beginning in State Fiscal Year 2021 and in each fiscal year thereafter. The total amount of aid to be restored to each municipality would be in addition to the total amount of CMPTRA and ETR Aid distributed to each municipality in Fiscal Year 2012. This legislation also extends the existing ETR Aid “poison pill” protection to ensure that each municipality received an aid amount not less than the combined payment of CMPTRA and ETR Aid to municipalities in Fiscal Year 2012 and the additional aid distributed under the bill.
This bill also amends current law to require a municipality to subtract any additional amount of ETR aid it receives, pursuant to the bill, from its adjusted tax levy when computing that amount for its next fiscal year. By deducting the additional amount of ETR Aid from the previous year’s levy, municipalities would be permitted to raise a lower amount of taxes through the levy for municipal purposes, thereby benefitting property taxpayers.
As amended and reported, this bill is identical to Senate Bill No. 1688.
This bill will increase State expenditures and municipal revenues. The bill requires the distribution to municipalities of an additional $331 million in Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Aid over a period of five years. Under the phase-in schedule established by the bill, municipalities will receive an additional $66 million, or 20 percent of the total amount of supplemental State aid, in Fiscal Year 2016. An additional 20 percent of the total amount will be distributed in each Fiscal Year from Fiscal Year 2018 through Fiscal Year 2021.
The bill requires that the maximum permissible property tax levy of each municipality receiving increased aid be reduced by the amount of the increase in aid. The allocation of energy utility tax revenues to provide additional State aid would effectively decrease the amount available for General Fund purposes.
Technical amendments replace section 1 of the bill to reflect an intervening amendment to section 9 of P.L.2007, c.62 that was codified after the bill was reported by a prior committee.