SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- This week, Mayor Al Smith joined mayors from the 7th Congressional District towns of Garwood, Westfield, Scotch Plains, Kenilworth, Springfield, Summit, Clinton and Raritan in calling on the U.S. House and Senate leadership of both parties to provide for dedicated municipal funding in the next CARES package expected to come up for a vote in early May.

“I have also sent the congressional leaders a letter specific to Scotch Plains and the negative potential impact of an uncertain economic environment,” said Mayor Smith. 

“For example, a 5% loss of property tax collection could cause a 21% deficiency in the municipal government budget given that the municipality must first pay the Board of Education and County.” Mayor Smith continued. “Loss or reduction in state aid would compound the situation.  Municipalities of all sizes need the ability to tap into emergency funding to care for this probable revenue loss.”

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The joint letter urged support for including U.S. Rep Tom Malinowski’s bill, H.R. 6467, which would provide $250 billion in stabilization funds to localities with populations lower than 500,000 in any future CARES package. Under this Coronavirus Community Relief Act, state and local governments with a population under 500,000 would be eligible for support to cover expenses attributable to the COVID-19 epidemic, including lost revenue.

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