Assemblyman Ryan Peters presented property taxpayer protection amendment

Shamong was the first stop on his 20 town district-wide tour.

New Jersey Eighth District Assemblyman Ryan Peters was invited to Wednesday night’s committee meeting as the first stop on his 20-town, district-wide tour to discuss the property taxpayer protection amendment that looks to return energy tax receipts and municipal property tax aid back to municipalities.

Peters is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in political science, as well as a law degree from Rutgers University. Peters has previously served on the Mt. Laurel Zoning Board from 2013 to 2014 and was a freeholder in Burlington County from 2016 to 2018.

The amendment was introduced on June 4 by Peters and Joe Howarth with the goal of getting funds back to municipalities, since Trenton has been using the Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Fund and Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Aid to balance the state’s budgets.

In 2002, the state’s right was revoked to collect the taxes from ERT if it failed to distribute to municipalities the same amount as the previous year plus annual inflation. This resulted in funds being taken from CMPTRA instead. From 2009 to 2018, there has been about $3.3 million taken from CMPTRA in Shamong, officials said.

This amendment would stop Trenton’s politicians from gaining access to these funds, and not only would the state have to replenish the 2009 CMPTRA level, but also match it each year going forward plus annual inflation.

Peters plans to present a resolution to the 20 towns he visits, in hopes of getting each town to sign off in agreement to this amendment, and will then take further action to get it posted for a vote.

Peters stated it will be difficult since the governor will be losing funds to repay each municipality, making it a struggle to budget.

“It’s going to be a long fight, but I’ve been in other worse fights and I’ve been happy to do it,” Peters said.

In other news:

  • A state Department of Transportation grant was awarded for the second phase of the Oak Shade Road improvements and a discretionary joint grant with Tabernacle has been discussed for the reconstruction of Carranza Road. As a part of the 2018 road program, Grassy Lake Road drainage and inlet repairs will also be completed. There are plans to apply for as many grants as possible in hopes to tend to a majority of the approximately 40 inlets in need of repair, as well as storm restoration.
  • Elaine Kennedy was appointed as part-time administrative consultant to train and assist with a records retention project.
  • There will be road studies done to Indian Mills Road after a resident requested to reduce the speed limit from 45 mph to 35 mph.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the municipal building located at 105 Willow Grove Road in Shamong.