State aid preserved at last year’s level for local towns

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) released municipal state aid figures for Middlesex County communities for the 2014 fiscal year on March 4.

The municipal aid funding total for fiscal year 2014 is $1.364 billion.

In Middlesex County, the amounts for local towns are approximately:

 East Brunswick, $4.17 million;
 Edison, $16 million;
 Helmetta, $142,000;
 Jamesburg, $413,000;
 Old Bridge, $6.2 million;
 Metuchen, $1.44 million;
 Milltown, $387,000;
 Monroe Township, $2.26 million;
 North Brunswick, $4.49 million;
 Sayreville, $9.27 million;

 South Amboy, $3.87 million;
 South Brunswick, $5.19 million;
 South River, $825,000;
 Spotswood, $715,000;
 Woodbridge, $23.2 million.

“This preserved funding means no town in Middlesex County will see a decrease in formula municipal aid for the upcoming year,” Gov. Chris Christie said. “It also demonstrates that providing stable, predictable levels of municipal aid to support local governments and taxpayers is a core priority of my administration.”

“Together with bipartisan reforms such as the 2 percent property tax cap, pension andhealthbenefitschanges,anda2percent cap on interest arbitration awards, we are delivering real relief to property taxpayers in New Jersey, as evidenced by two consecutive years of the smallest property tax increases in two decades,” he added.

In 2011, New Jersey homeowners saw a statewide average rise of 2.4 percent in property taxes. In 2012, the statewide average increase was just 1.4 percent, the lowest in 24 years.

“The Christie administration is by no means finished with property tax reform. My department stands ready to assist the governor in his efforts at preventing municipalities from increasing user fees, ending accumulated sick and vacation leave payouts for government employees, and giving Middlesex County’s municipalities greater flexibility in removing barriers to shared services,” said DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable III. “Working with Gov. Christie, we are committed to doing whatever we can to ensure that sustainable, longterm property tax relief continues.”

According to the DCA, the fiscal year 2014 budget proposal continues to decrease the Transitional Aid to Localities Program, which reflects Christie’s commitment to keeping this discretionary aid as a temporary program for municipalities that are transitioning to self-sufficiency.

The coming fiscal year’s program is funded at $94.5 million, a reduction of $14.2 million from the fiscal year 2013 appropriation.

When the program began in fiscal year 2011, 22 municipalities received aid. That number dropped to 11 in fiscal year 2012 and to 10 in the current fiscal year.

Transitional aid awards are based on aid applications submitted to the DCA.