If you live anywhere in New Jersey you already know how brutal this winter has been. What you might not know is the answer to the question: will snow removal costs cause taxes to go up in your town?

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Every municipality actually has a pot of money that could help offset the expense of snow and ice cleanup, but they're not allowed to use any of it for that purpose.

"Every town in the state, all 566 municipalities in New Jersey are currently receiving the Clean Communities grant money," said Assemblyman Ron Dancer (R-Cream Ridge). "My bill would permit municipalities to use a portion of the Clean Communities Grant Program to help pay for snow and ice removal."

Municipalities don't all get the same amount of grant money in the $16 million program, but under Dancer's bill they would all be permitted use up to 25 percent of what they do get to help cover the costs of snow and ice removal.

"This would be a way to get relief to towns without increasing taxes just by utilizing existing grant money, that is, to clean up a community," Dancer said. "We've got to clean up after snow storms. Towns are hurting. They are depleted of any budget money that may have been for those purposes. It has been a budget buster."

The Clean Communities Grant Program allows municipalities to use the state aid only for litter cleanup, to educate people about the anti-littering programs and to promote volunteer cleanup of public lands.