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  • NJ A1427
  • Permits increase in municipal free public library tax upon voter approval.
In Committee
Crossed Over
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill would allow the voters of a municipality to approve an increase in the municipal free public library tax. The bill would provide critical support for struggling free public libraries, including joint free public libraries, in municipalities. Under current law, a municipality with a free public library is required to annually raise by taxation a sum equal to one-third of a mill on every dollar of assessable property according to its equalized value. An increase in the amount to be raised by taxation under that formula is limited to no more than 15 percent of the previous year's total municipal expenditure to maintain a free public library. Also, any excess funds not intended for use in the operating budget, or in restricted accounts of capital, grants, gifts or in the temporarily restricted account equal to 20% of the last audited operating budget for surplus, are generally required to be transferred to the municipality. The bill would permit an additional amount to annually be raised by taxation, for a period of 10 years, to supplement the amount raised under the one-third of a mill formula applicable under current law. This additional amount would be exempt from the 15% increase limit and the 20% excess funds transfer requirement for the first tax year in which the proposition is implemented. The bill provides that the additional annual levy may only be authorized upon the approval of a proposition by the voters at a general election. A proposition would be submitted to the voters upon either a resolution of the municipal governing body or upon the submission of a petition signed by qualified voters of the municipality equal in number to at least 15% of the votes cast at the last preceding general election in the municipality. The annual levy may be subsequently changed upon approval of a new proposition submitted to the voters, which may also be initiated by either the municipal governing body or petition, but the annual levy may not be lowered to a sum that is less than one-third of a mill on every dollar of assessable property. If the voters approve a new proposition that establishes a tax rate that is still higher than one-third of a mill, the new rate would be in effect for a new 10-year period following that vote. A higher tax rate may be continued after a 10-year period has ended by the submission of a new proposition to the voters. Propositions to change the annual levy for a free public library may not be submitted to the voters more than once in a three-year election period.
2nd Reading in the Assembly, Community and Urban Affairs, Passed Assembly
Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee  (on 10/5/2016)

Date Chamber Action Description
10/5/2016 S Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee
9/29/2016 A Passed by the Assembly (52-14-5)
6/6/2016 A Reported out of Assembly Committee, 2nd Reading
6/6/2016 Assembly State and Local Government Hearing (14:00 6/6/2016 Committee Room 13, 4th Floor)
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly State and Local Government Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 9/29/2016 Assembly Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 52 14 14
Detail 6/6/2016 Assembly State and Local Government Committee: Reported Favorably 3 2 0