Assemblyman VINCENT PRIETO
District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)
Reduces tax levy for free public libraries to one-sixth of a mill per dollar of assessable property.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act reducing certain tax levies, and amending R.S.40:54-8 and P.L.1959, c.155.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. R.S.40:54-8 is amended to read as follows:
40:54-8. The governing body or appropriate board of every municipality governed by this article shall annually appropriate and raise by taxation a sum equal to [one-third] one-sixth of a mill on every dollar of assessable property within such municipality based on the equalized valuation of such property as certified by the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury.
Such additional sum, as in the judgment of such body or board is necessary for the proper maintenance of a free public library, may be appropriated and raised by taxation, annually.
(cf: P.L.1985, c.541, s.1)
2. Section 2 of P.L.1959, c.155 (C.40:54-29.4) is amended to read as follows:
2. The governing bodies of such municipalities shall propose such an undertaking by a joint library agreement, which shall provide for the apportionment of annual and special appropriations therefor among such municipalities, for the initial annual appropriation for such library, for the abandonment or the continuance of such agreement in the event that it is not approved by all such municipalities as provided for in this act, and for such other matters as they shall determine. Such apportionment of appropriations may be based on the assessed valuations of the respective municipalities, their populations, or such factor or factors as the governing bodies shall agree.
Such an agreement shall provide that the combined minimum appropriation for the joint library shall annually be not less than [one-third] one-sixth of a mill on every dollar of assessable property within the participating municipalities based upon the equalized valuation of such property within the combined municipalities as certified by the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury.
(cf: P.L.1988, c.38, s.2)
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill would reduce the amount that a municipality is required to appropriate and raise by taxation for a free public library. Current law requires municipalities with a free public library to raise and appropriate one-third of a mill per each dollar of assessed property value for the library. The level of appropriations for municipalities with a joint library is the same amount under current law. In both cases, this amount would be adjusted to one-sixth of a mill on each dollar of assessed property value.
R.S.40:54-8 was first enacted in 1937, and has not been amended since 1985. Similarly, N.J.S.A. 40:54-29.4, although enacted later, has not been amended since 1988. The equalized value of property throughout the State has risen substantially in recent years. Because these statutes have not been amended to change the proportional obligation of each municipality to fund its public library, many municipalities are collecting monies in excess of the needs of their public library systems.