Gov. Christie today proposed legislation that would cover 20 percent of the cost of merging two towns.
New Jersey towns looking to consolidate may have an extra incentive under legislation Gov. Chris Christie proposed today.
The state Department of Community Affairs would cover 20 percent of the cost of merging two towns under the proposed legislation.
Christie also expressed support for a consolidation effort underway between Princeton Township and Princeton Borough.
Consolidation has long been looked to as a way to bring down New Jersey's ever-skyrocketing property taxes. But some argue the state's "home rule" mentality is an obstacle that proves almost impossible to overcome. Few consolidation efforts have been successful among the state's 566 municipalities.
"Sensible, locally-driven consolidation must be supported by state government, and that is exactly what we are doing," Christie said in a prepared statement.
The proposal also allows towns to spread the cost of consolidation over five years.
Voters in both Princetons will vote on a merger in November. The cost of the potential merger is $1.7 million, and the state will provide a grant to cover 20 percent of the transition costs if the merger succeeds.
"The transition costs are a one-time expense and we have identified significant savings from consolidation," said Princeton Township Mayor Chad Goerner. "The grant will help us achieve these savings faster to benefit all residents of our community."