Governor Should Not Be Allowed To Balance the Budget with the Trust Funds
In a March 8, 2012 editorial, The Newark Star-Ledger criticizes Governor Chris Christie for wanted to take money – over $200 million – that has been set aside through the Affordable Housing Trust fund and use it to balance the state’s budget. The piece urges the State Legislature to protect this money and ensure that it is put towards the intended and very critical need.
Quoting from the editorial:
The Legislature needs to stop this money grab, fast. By seizing local funds, Christie threatens a plan that holds great promise to stabilize neighborhoods, deliver low-cost housing and build consensus for a sound housing policy going forward.
The editorial highlights the potential impact of taking the money and using it for the general treasury.
Poaching the money for the general fund also will put more pressure on property taxes. Because under existing law, towns have until July to commit this money, after which the state can claim it. Without these funds, “towns will have no means to meet their affordable housing obligation,” said Michael Cerra, senior legislative analyst for the League of Municipalities. “And there will be an obligation at some point. Where else can we go but the property tax?”