FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             
May 7, 2020
Contact: Wells Winegar, Dep. Administrator
Phone: 908-725-6300 ext. 5000
Mayor Moench Applauds the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee for Moving Assembly Bill 3791

Bridgewater, NJ – Today, May 7 th , Mayor Matthew Moench testified before the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee in support of Assembly Bill A3791. The bill creates a new tool to allow municipalities to avoid drastic tax increases on residents as a result of significant and unexpected losses of revenue from COVID-19. The bill allows for the impact of the lost revenue and increased expenditures to be spread out over a ten-year time period through special Coronavirus Relief Bonds. The goal is to allow municipalities to have more flexibility with their finances without passing along a large tax increase to residents, many of whom are struggling at this time. Municipalities would have the opportunity to pay back these bonds over a 10-year period. The bill passed 5-4 and was reported out of committee.  
During his testimony, Mayor Moench stated, ”I'm glad that this bill is moving forward. This allows towns the flexibility that they need to manage [their finances ] without simply coming to the state asking for handouts. It's an important tool--it doesn't substitute cutting, it doesn't substitute other fiscally responsible things that we can do, but it is part of that toolbox that we need, and I ask you all to support it." 

A companion bill has been introduced in the State Senate but hearing dates have yet to be determined.
"For the past few weeks, I am proud to have teamed up with municipal leaders across the state in a bi-partisan manner to advocate for this necessary relief to many our taxpayers. Mayor Colleen Mahr (D-Fanwood) and Mayor Keith Kazmark (D-Woodland Park) have also been leaders on this issue," said Mayor Moench.

On Wednesday, Mayor Moench moderated a webinar panel discussion featuring Mayor Mahr and Mayor Kazmark, along with Michael Cerra from the League of Municipalities, Matthew Jessup from McManimon & Scotland, and Dan Marienello and Michael Hanley from NW Financial. The panel was attended by nearly 100 local officials and professionals, and a second panel discussion is scheduled for later today to continue to educate local officials on these efforts.  

“Two weeks ago, I sent a letter to Governor Murphy and Legislative Leaders called for this type of action on behalf of the residents of Bridgewater,” said Mayor Moench. “Since then, several elected officials from both sides of the aisle and finance professionals have teamed up with me to push for these reforms. I would like to especially thank Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr and Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark for their hard work and partnership. We will continue to advocate for our taxpayers until the Governor signs this bill.”