Combining municipalities’ resources in an effort to ease the burden on taxpayers, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joann Downey, Eric Houghtaling, Vincent Mazzeo and John Armato that would add Monmouth and Atlantic Counties as a pilot counties for purposes of “Common Sense Shared Services Pilot Program Act” was signed into law by the Governor on Tuesday.
Preciously, five counties were designated as “pilot counties” under that law: Camden, Morris, Ocean, Sussex and Warren counties.
“New Jersey residents pay the highest property tax rates in the nation and sharing services is a viable path for municipalities to provide taxpayer relief,” said Downey (D- Monmouth). “Many towns have already begun to discuss sharing opportunities with neighboring towns. Our Common Sense Shared Services Pilot Program will encourage and better enable municipalities to find new ways to coordinate services and in the long run lessen the property tax burden on our residents.”
The “Common Sense Shared Services Pilot Program Act” authorizes the study of sharing of services for a municipal clerk, a chief financial officer, an assessor, a tax collector, a municipal treasurer or a municipal superintendent of public works without regard to the strictures of tenure rights, as necessary, in order to promote and effectuate the sharing of a service.
“Simply put, shared services programs are something we should always take advantage of here in Monmouth County, especially when it comes to cost -saving measures such as the ‘Common Sense Shared Services Pilot Program Act,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “This act will allow our municipalities to work together by combining their resources and expertise in order to increase efficiency and lower costs for our hard-working residents.”
Under the pilot program, municipalities located in pilot counties may enter into shared services agreements, under current law provisions, for the services of tenured local employees, and provide for the dismissal of any tenured local employees who are not selected to be service providers under the shared service agreement.
“For a county like Atlantic County that includes several small municipalities, taking advantage of common sense shared services programs is extremely beneficial to our residents,” said Armato (D-Atlantic). “With this bill becoming law, we are taking a step in the right direction towards saving money and optimizing resources for our taxpaying families.”
“As legislators for the second district, we are always pushing for shared services programs that will improve quality of life and save money for our hard-working families,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “This law will include Atlantic County as a pilot county in the ‘Common Sense Shared Services Pilot Program Act,’ which will increase our towns’ access to government services, in turn, increasing both effectiveness and efficiency in their municipal operations.”