DCA Releases FY11 Municipal State Aid Figures

TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today released municipal state aid figures for Fiscal Year 2011 totaling $1,459,203,000.

"Governor Christie and I recognize that municipal governments are facing decreased revenue and fewer resources in this tough economy, but, as the Governor has stated, difficult times call for shared sacrifice and we are asking local communities to do their part," said Acting DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa. "To help communities find cost savings and avoid property tax increases, a 'tool kit' of reform measures has been created. We are also encouraging local governments to conduct the same rigorous reviews of services and programs that Governor Christie is performing at the state level. The Governor and I are confident that local officials will rise to the challenge.

"Additionally, as a means of encouraging and rewarding local adoption of best government practices, DCA is currently developing a Best Practice Initiative program. It is expected that many of the best practices will be those currently deployed by many municipal governments, and will encourage the adoption of new ones," concluded Acting Commissioner Grifa.

To further protect taxpayers from property tax increases, the Governor outlined a series of proposed tools that local governments can use to more effectively manage their budgets. The most important tool is Proposition 2 ½, a constitutional amendment that would impose a cap of 2.5 percent on the local property tax levy. Local governing bodies could ask their voters to exceed the levy cap only through referenda. The tool kit also includes reform measures that touch on collective bargaining, employee benefits and civil service.

On Tuesday, March 16th, Governor Christie presented a budget that calls for the state to spend $28.3 billion in Fiscal Year 2011. This marks a reduction of nearly 9 percent from the total amount spent last year as the state works to close a budget gap estimated at $10.7 billion. This is the largest absolute and percentage-based gap in New Jersey's history.

The new municipal state aid figures are available on the Department's website at: http://www.nj.gov/dca/lgs/muniaid/aidmenu.shtml.