The destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy should not affect taxes for municipalities and school districts, says Governor Christie.

Ilya Hemlin, Townsquare Media

An executive order signed by him would require municipalities or school districts with over a five percent ratable loss to take out low interest federal Community Disaster Loans, which help replace lost revenue from a disaster.

Speaking in Lakewood on Tuesday, Christie fielded a question on the topic. He notes the loans have less than one percent interest, and more importantly are forgivable.

"Meaning over a period of time, the federal government usually can and does forgive these loans."

He notes that it's important for school districts to apply for the loans because there is often a disconnect between school districts and budget, since the town is responsible for collecting money, not the district.

"School districts think, 'If it's down five percent or more, it's a problem with the town. I'm still getting my check.'"

The goal of the loans according to Christie is to "bridge the gap" until residents rebuild and move back into communities, restoring the ratable base. He is hopeful that within a year anyone who plans on returning to their homes will do so.

Christie notes that most municipalities were already applying for the loans, however, he signed the executive order to require the remaining ones to do so.

"So we don't see this fall on tax payers in the state. We have the federal money available. I fought really hard and loud to get it here, I want us to use it."


Courtesy Governor's Office