Idea Grant

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Introduction:

Courage to Connect NJ is offering up to five $1000 Idea Grants to challenge municipalities, elected officials and residents to develop ideas that reshape government operations and address New Jersey’s ever-increasing property taxes.   CtoCNJ will support innovative ideas that will substantially transform the delivery of services by local government entities and create efficiencies which will yield permanent and significant property tax reductions.   NJ needs your ideas to reduce our property taxes, increase local government efficiency and to provide better services to our residents.  NJ needs a new approach.  Bring your ideas forward by applying for one of the $1000 grants for new ways for NJ to do business.

  • $1000 grant will be awarded to up to five individuals or teams for an innovative idea to improve services, create efficiencies and help decrease property taxes
  • Winners will be announced Wednesday, May 17th at the Courage to Connect NJ Conference at the Wyndham Garden, 1 West Lafayette Street in Trenton.  Grant recipients may be asked to present their ideas on a panel at the conference.*
  • Application Deadline:  April 15, 2017
  • Eligible applicants:  Elected officials, local employees, community organizations, county employees, legislators, taxpayers, administrators, academic capstone or graduate school projects.  Ideas may be submitted by individuals, teams or groups.
  • Ideas may be locally specific, regional or state-wide
  • CtoCNJ will assist applicants with developing an implementation plan 

 

*You also have the option to remain anonymous.

 

Who is Courage to Connect NJ?

 

Courage to Connect NJ (CtoCNJ) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that has been working with Mayors, elected officials, employees, taxpayers, fire commissioners and school board members from around the state.  We provide informational and financial support for efforts to consolidate or regionalize local government services. 

 

CtoCNJ has supported the Princeton consolidation and the regionalization of the South Hunterdon School District, unifying four school districts into a unified Pre-K to 12 district.

 

CtoCNJ has a seven member volunteer board which provides support services around the state.  The board includes:  Gina Genovese, Chad Goerner, Craig Guarente, Donovan Hall, Anton Lahnston, Wendy McCahill, Gabe Plumer, Robert Bruschi.

 

Why is CtoCNJ offering the grants?

 

In the past year, there has been an overwhelming increase in the difficulty taxpayers are having keeping up with their property taxes.   Taxpayers are struggling, working for weeks to pay their property taxes.  More and more taxpayers are forced to leave the state. 

"It takes almost half of my Social Security checks.  And for that reason, it is foolish for me to stay in NJ now that I am retired.  I need to move, but I like my home." - J.S.

We believe there are innovative and transformational ideas around the state that can help alleviate the pressure on residents and local officials.  This grant is to bring those ideas forward that can improve services, lower operating costs and permanently reduce the cost of local government. 

 

CtoCNJ has been inspired by New York State’s Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition and their Municipal Restructuring Fund sponsored by the Division of Local Government Services that is fueling innovation across NY state.   This grant was created as an incentive to local governments to create efficiencies, consolidate and/or regionalize local government services.

 

What is an innovative idea?

It is an idea that can be transformative and have substantial impact on service provision, governmental operations and function.  It must yield permanent property tax reductions.

 

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