Has Your Property Tax Bill Been Delayed? [AUDIO]
It's becoming a serious problem in several New Jersey towns hard-hit by Superstorm Sandy, as local leaders have not formally adopted a budget yet, which is delaying property tax bills from being sent out.
"In order to be able to put together their budget, they have to have a full accounting of how much money they're going to be receiving from the federal government, from FEMA," says Bill Dressel, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities.
He points out the process of accounting for all of the ratable losses, and for reimbursement and loan programs is still underway. But fortunately, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs is fully aware of this situation, and they're working with the towns to try to develop the necessary paperwork and be understanding.
"In towns where a significant amount of money has been paid out to deal with the recovery effort," he says, "and dollars have not been coming back into the coffers to offset those dollars, it's creating a problem. The lifeblood of local government is the local property tax bill - that really is the only source of funding that municipalities have to pay their bills."
Dressel adds it's a very difficult situation because towns don't know if they'll have enough money to pay for essential services, and that's what makes the local budgeting process a white-knuckle event for many community leaders.