STONE HARBOR – In New Jersey, tax receipts, which the state collects on behalf of municipalities, can be rebranded, and sent back to the municipalities as state aid.
The state first shaves off a portion of those supposedly dedicated municipal receipts for its own purpose before giving the towns back their own legitimate receipts as aid.
The tax receipts come from gas and utility companies and are intended to offset the cost to municipalities of having energy company facilities within their borders, as well as to provide property tax relief.
The taxes were once collected by the municipalities before the state stepped in and began collecting them. Later, the state began redirecting some of those receipts to plug holes in the state budget.
A bipartisan effort is underway in Trenton to increase the distribution of energy tax receipts to municipalities.
Stone Harbor Council, May 16, authorized Mayor Judith Davies-Dunhour to sign a letter of support for the legislation that would restore $331 million of diverted energy tax receipts to municipalities over a two-year period.
Other towns in the county are being asked by the New Jersey League of Municipalities to sign the same letter of support for the legislation.
Efforts to return more of the energy tax receipts to municipalities have failed in the past.