Trenton lawmakers postponed their vote on S2855 the “Electronic Publication of Legal Notices Act”. This bill would end the mandate for municipalities to publicly advertise legal notices in print newspapers. S2855 would allow municipalities to publish legal notices on their own websites or have them published online by a third party.

How much would this bill save Summit Taxpayers? According to our City Administrator's office, Summit spent approximately $11,560 per year the last three years (2014 – 2016) on legal ads through Worrall Community Newspapers.

Why should any municipality be FORCED to pay for the print publication of legal notices when they can be posted online? 

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Summit unveiled a wonderful new website this year. No doubt our new website could add a link to legal notices. Not all municipalities in New Jersey have a website that can handle listing legal notices. However they should be free to choose where to publish based on what is best for their community. S2855 publication options include municipal websites, online news sites or in print newspapers. Mandating posting in print is a government subsidy to the newspaper industry. Freedom of choice leads to lower cost for all and relief for property taxpayers. This bill should be passed as soon as possible in 2017.

If you would like to contact our local lawmakers, visit this section of our website to obtain their contact information. While $11,560 is a minor sum in the overall Summit budget, it's an easy way to give taxpayers a break. As any of us running a family budget knows, every little bit helps.

Mike Wattick
President, Summit Taxpayers Association