Shared Patrol Model: The sweet spot for reducing property taxes and saving police officers jobs

By Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

declanThe concept of municipal consolidation/shared services is referred to by some as the panacea for high property taxes.  Others claim that consolidation/shared services is a pipe dream and not worth pursuing because no single service will solve our property tax problem.  Both sides of this argument are wrong.  No one act or reform will slash our taxes – short of major increases in other taxes.  To argue that we shouldn’t pursue such reforms because they won’t save “enough” is to argue against doing anything to cut costs.  On the contrary, the answer is we must do EVERYTHING.

Merging of municipalities is a heavy lift. People have nostalgic attachments to their town names and pride in their community identity. And if things don’t go as well as planned, there’s no going back.  That leaves shared services  as the sweet spot – much easier to attain than wholesale municipal mergers and can generate 60 to 80% of the savings.

We must then hone in on the areas where we can get the greatest amount of savings.  Things like public works and administration sound like good targets but those areas have already, frequently, been cut to the bone.  One area in many municipalities that is ripe for restructuring: police.

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Posted: December 9th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County News, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Support Grows For Controversial Property Tax Assessment Program As Shrewsbury Opts Back In

Declan1A bi-partisan effort to explain the controversial pilot program for assessing Monmouth County properties, the Assessment Demonstration Program, is generating support for the program as one of the eight municipalities that opted out of the program has reenlisted and other towns are choosing to stay with the program that is reducing the amount of property tax appeals filed.

The biggest problem the program has faced is confusion between the alleged improprieties and conflicts of interests in the implementation of the program exposed by an Asbury Park Press series which instigated an investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the benefits and weaknesses of the program itself.

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Posted: May 4th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Taxation, Monmouth County News, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Bramnick: N.J. can’t afford to restore aid to towns to cut property taxes

assetContentABOARD THE CHAMBER TRAIN — Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Union) said Thursday he’d like to restore aid to New Jersey’s municipalities to lower property taxes, but the state simply can’t afford it. Lawmakers have introduced a bill ( A302) to restore hundreds of millions of dollars in energy tax receipts and Consolidated Municipal Property Tax… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 26th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, News, NJ GOP, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Bramnick: N.J. can’t afford to restore aid to towns to cut property taxes

Freeholders Reduce County Spending By $18.2 million

MON CTY FREHDLSThe Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders will introduce their new budget to the public on Feb. 25 at the Monmouth County Library Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury and at 7 p.m. on March 24 at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters on Symmes Drive in Manalapan.  Both meetings start at 7 p.m.

The $469.85 million budget is $18.2 million less than last year’s, reduces the county tax levy to the 2010 level and reduces spending to the 2007 amount.  County property taxes are reduced by $4.9 million.

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Posted: February 25th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County News, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Freeholders Reduce County Spending By $18.2 million

Arnone Calls For Tax Cut, Boost of Local Jobs

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Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone

Freehold– Freehold Director Thomas A. Arnone called on his colleagues to reverse $4.9 million County property tax increase, 1.5%, imposed last year,  now that Monmouth County is no longer subsidizing the nursing homes that had cost Monmouth taxpayers almost $50 million over the last ten years.

Speaking at the annual reorganization of the County government on Wednesday afternoon, Arnone, who was elected as Director for 2016 by his fellow freeholders, announced that the auction of the nursing homes was completed this week and generated $32.4 million, $12.4 million more than expected.  Arnone said that as a result of no longer having to carry the nursing homes, that taxes should be reduced back to the level that the board had held steady from 2008 through 2014.  The Director told MoreMonmouthMusings that he would urge the Board to use the $32.4 million proceeds of the sale to reduce the County’s AAA rated debt.

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Posted: January 7th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Christine Hanlon, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County News, Property Taxes, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

O’Scanlon and Tax Board Announce Assessment Reforms

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and the members of the Monmouth County Tax Boards announced reforms to the controversial Assessment Demonstration Program yesterday. The changes are designed to address the volatility in property valuations that taxpayers have been experiencing during the early years of the pilot program’s implementation.

In addition to making appropriate adjustments to the program, O’Scanlon told MMM that he his hopeful that municipal officials will focus on the program itself, and not the controversy over the allegations of conflicts of interests among assessors, Tax Administrator Matthew Clark, and the vendors working the program, when deciding whether to continue their participation participation in 2017.  The Tax Board announced last month that towns can opt out of the program for 2017 by April 29, 2016.

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Posted: December 17th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Board of Taxation, Monmouth County News, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Monmouth Tax Board: Towns Can Opt Out of Assessment Demonstration Program

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Tax Commissioners Cliff Moore, James Stuart and Kathy Cody Bjelka

The Monmouth County Tax Board acted on Monday to allow municipalities to opt out of the controversial pilot program, the Assessment Demonstration Program. The program has resulted in the volatility of property assessments and spurred a grand jury investigation into alleged conflicts of interest among key players in the County’s complex property tax system.

By an unanimous vote Monday afternoon, the Tax Board approved a resolution offered by Commissioner Clifford J. Moore III to immediately allow municipalities to opt out of the program for the 2017 tax year.  Towns must notify the board that they are opting out by 11:59 p.m. on April 29, 2016.

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Posted: December 1st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Taxation, Monmouth County News, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Monmouth Tax Board: Towns Can Opt Out of Assessment Demonstration Program

State blasts tax boards, may force N.J. towns to reassess properties

assetContent (21)TRENTON — Three New Jersey municipalities in Union, Hudson and Middlesex counties are under investigation by the state for stalling property reassessments for decades and could be forced to conduct revaluations. The investigation of Jersey City, Elizabeth and Dunellen is a shot across the bow to municipalities in the three counties the state says have neglected… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: November 19th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Whatever happened to Assembly Democrats’ pledge to cut N.J.’s sky-high property taxes?

assetContent (75)TRENTON — Minutes after being sworn in for his ninth term in January 2014, Assembly Majority Lou Greenwald pledged that the time had come for real property tax reform. “Let us join together. Let us do the unthinkable and prove the cynics wrong. Let us attack New Jersey’s property tax crisis once and for all,” Greenwald… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 18th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Legislature, NJ State Legislature, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Rebate ‘Shell Game’ Makes It Hard to Track Property Tax Facts in New Jersey

 The average New Jersey homeowner paid $8,161 in property taxes last year, according to new data. Determining how much that number has risen is another matter. That’s in part because the Department of Community Affairs stopped publishing property tax rebate information in its annual town-by-town…
Posted: January 30th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »