Piscataway Mayor Brian Wahler addressed over 150 mayors at the 54th New Jersey Conference of Mayors on Thursday, April 27 in Atlantic City, NJ. As Chair of the Membership standing committee for the United States Conference of Mayors, Wahler discussed key priorities that the New Jersey and USCM share: protecting tax-exempt municipal bonds, state and local tax deductibility, and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Elimination of the state and local tax deductibility would be particularly detrimental for New Jersey residents, Wahler stated, “New Jersey residents already pay the highest property tax in the county, we must be vigilant so that elimination of this tax deduction is not included in the final tax plan.”
Wahler also explained that for the first time since the creation of the CDBG program in 1974, it faces the risk of complete elimination. CDBG is one of the few programs that returns tax payers money back to the community and as Wahler noted, “is especially significant since New Jersey already ranks as one of the lowest states on return of federal tax dollars; New Jersey has also relied on the CDBG program as the main facilitator for distribution of relief funds after Hurricane Sandy.” Wahler concluded his remarks urging New Jersey mayors to join him and the leadership of The U.S. Conference of Mayors in signing on to a letter opposing funding reductions in CDBG.
The New Jersey Conference of Mayors is the oldest and largest statewide mayors organization in the country and was founded in 1963.