Merging towns or schools might cut your property taxes. What Murphy just did about that.

The grants would go to local governments that show the best possible ideas on how sharing services can save taxpayers, help local governments implement shared service projects and study school consolidation, and have each county hire a young professional who would coordinate shared services under a fellowship.

“We must do everything we can to allow these communities to thrive without the burden of increased property taxes, and help our middle class families and retirees enjoy the benefits of the stronger and fairer New Jersey our administration has worked so hard to build,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who is also commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, which will administer the grants.

New Jersey has 565 municipalities even though it is the fifth smallest state by square mileage in the U.S. It also has the nation’s highest property taxes.

Last year, Murphy named Democrat Jordan Glatt, the former mayor of Summit, and Republican Nicholas Platt, the former mayor of Harding, as the state’s shared services czars. He tasked them with helping local governments find ways to consolidate and save.

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney has been pushing his own plans to share services and merge school districts. They’re part of his proposed “Path to Progress” legislation.

It’s unclear how much of Sweeney’s plan will become law. He often clashes with Murphy.

“It’s important that the administration move expeditiously to get funding out the door to school districts, municipalities and counties who are eager to move ahead,” Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said after Murphy’s announcement Wednesday.

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment