McKEON, LAMPITT, GUSCIORA, BARNES & MAINOR BILL TO HELP CONTROL PROPERTY TAXES BY EASING MASTER PLAN MANDATE ADVANCES

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats John F. McKeon, Pamela R. Lampitt, Reed Gusciora, Peter J. Barnes III and Charles Mainor sponsored to help local governments save money and control property taxes by revising master plan review laws was advanced Thursday by a Senate committee.
The bill (A-3272) was approved 75-0 by the Assembly in September and released 3-0 Thursday by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
The bill modifies the Municipal Land Use Law to provide that municipalities need to complete the reexamination of the municipal master plan only every ten years. The legislation would also provide a procedure for built-out municipalities to waive the general reexamination process.
“A comprehensive master plan review has a shelf life beyond the current mandate of six years,” said McKeon (D-Essex). “If a municipality feels it’s important to review its master plan at the current pace, it can continue to do so, but if you happen to be a municipality that’s built out and you are in your fifth year, this measure is a respite.”
“In many cases, all the developable property in a municipality is being used at its highest capacity and amendment of the municipal master plan is unfeasible, rendering the reexamination an unnecessary burden and cost,” said Lampitt (D-Camden). “Under this bill, the municipality would be able to waive the general reexamination process and save taxpayers money.”
“In this difficult economy, we must look at ways to save property taxpayers money,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer). “This is one approach that makes sense on both a government and taxpayer level.”
“Property taxes must be controlled, and one way to do that is to take away unnecessary mandates that help drive up property taxes year after year,” said Barnes (D-Middlesex). “This is one of those unnecessary burdens, and easing it will save taxpayers money. That’s always a good thing.”
“Many communities, especially urban areas, are already built out, so having to review the master plan every six years is a costly and unneeded burden,” said Mainor (D-Hudson). “This is a better approach that appropriately saves money.”