SENATE, No. 244

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2020 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  TROY SINGLETON

District 7 (Burlington)

Senator  NELLIE POU

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Oroho

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy to undertake study to determine efficiency and scaling in delivery of local government services.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act requiring the study of efficiency and scaling in the delivery of local government services, supplementing P.L.2007, c.63 (C.40A:65-1 et seq.), and making an appropriation.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The Legislature finds and declares that:

     a.     New Jersey residents face the highest property tax burden in the United States and reducing this burden has been and continues to be a priority for the Legislature.

     b.    The ongoing effort to share and regionalize local government services has provided some relief over the years, but the Legislature is committed to doing more to encourage streamlining the delivery of local government services in order to reduce the property tax burden on State residents.

     c.     In an effort to further encourage streamlining, a determination of efficiency and scaling is required in order to inform the Legislature as to the most effective methods to achieve savings for taxpayers, while still ensuring a high level of quality in the delivery of services.

     d.    To make this critical determination, a study should be undertaken to identify the most efficient scale of service delivery so that the Legislature can move forward with data-driven policy changes.

 

     2.    As used in P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     “Alternative service delivery method” means contracting with a private for-profit or nonprofit entity, or utilizing volunteers, to deliver a service traditionally provided by a local unit.

     “Joint contract” means a contract between two or more local units to form a joint meeting pursuant to section 14 of P.L.2007, c.63 (C.40A:65-14).           

     “Local unit” means a “contracting unit” pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1971, c.198 (C.40A:11-2), a "district" pursuant to N.J.S.18A:18A-2, a "county college" pursuant to N.J.S.18A:64A-1, a joint meeting, or any authority or special district that is subject to the "Local Authorities Fiscal Control Law," P.L.1983, c.313 (C.40A:5A-1 et seq.).

     "Shared service agreement" means a contract authorized under section 4 of P.L.2007, c.63 (C.40A:65-4).

 

     3.    a.  The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey shall conduct a comprehensive study to research scaling for the most efficient delivery of services by local units within the context of shared service agreements, joint contracts, and alternative service delivery methods.  Specifically, the study shall examine, but not be limited to increasing efficiency in the following areas of service delivery:

     (1) municipal courts;

     (2) construction code enforcement;

     (3) fire code enforcement;

     (4) municipal and county health services;

     (5) property tax assessments;

     (6) public works; and

     (7) provision of emergency services, including police, fire, and emergency medical response, and dispatch for emergency response.

     b.    The study may utilize a variety of research methods with a mission to collect and compile the data on which comprehensive decisions can be made to encourage the most efficient and effective streamlining of delivery of services by local units.

     c.     The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy shall issue a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature within one year of the commencement of the study.

 

     4.    There is appropriated from the Property Tax Relief Fund to Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey $30,000 to conduct the study and issue the report provided for in section 3 of P.L.   , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     5.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill directs the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, to conduct a comprehensive study to research scaling for the most efficient delivery of services by local units within the context of shared service agreements, joint contracts, and alternative service delivery methods.

     New Jersey residents face the highest property tax burden in the United States and reducing this burden has been and continues to be a priority for the Legislature. In an effort to further encourage streamlining of the delivery of local government services, a determination of efficiency and scaling is required in order to inform the Legislature as to the most effective methods to achieve savings for taxpayers, while still ensuring a high level of quality in the delivery of services.

     Under the bill, the study will examine, but not be limited to examining, increasing efficiency in the following areas of service delivery:

     (1) municipal courts;

     (2) construction code enforcement;

     (3) fire code enforcement;

     (4) municipal and county health services;

     (5) property tax assessments;

     (6) public works; and

     (7) provision of emergency services, including police, fire, and emergency medical response, and dispatch for emergency response.

     The bill specifies that the study may utilize a variety of research methods with a mission to collect and compile the data on which comprehensive decisions can be made to encourage the most efficient and effective streamlining of delivery of services by local units.         Under the bill, the Bloustein School is required to issue a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature within one year of the commencement of the study.

     The bill appropriates from the Property Tax Relief Fund to Rutgers, the State University $30,000 conduct the study and issue the report.