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• Mar 22, 2019

Nothing holds up progress like paperwork and red tape. Not only do these roadblocks slow things down, but they often lead to greater costs.

In the spirit of Unexpectedly Human and The Ready Commitment strategy to enrich the lives of customers, TD Equipment Finance is doing its part to ease those headaches in the 13 municipalities of Cumberland County, New Jersey.

The new Municipal Tax Exempt Leasing Program (MTELP) – TD's partnership with the Cumberland County Improvement Authority (CCIA) – allows the county's municipalities, townships, fire departments, police and school districts to lease capital equipment (valued at $100,0000 or higher) at fixed, competitive rates. This includes a host of community necessities including fire trucks, trash-collection equipment, public-works equipment, vehicles, HVAC, telecommunications gear, computer systems, and more.

Getting vital equipment, faster

The program means municipalities can acquire leases on important equipment in a much shorter time frame. Traditionally, leasing this kind of equipment requires a long request for proposal process. "Most times, a municipality would put together a set of bid documents and search for lenders to provide them proposals with rates and terms," explained Joseph Harry, vice president and regional manager of TD Equipment Finance. "Or they could go through a financial advisor and pay them to do that work for them."

MTELP's streamlined process allows Cumberland County's municipalities to skip this drawn-out – and expensive – bidding process. "Because the lease program through the CCIA was competitively bid, the municipalities can borrow through the program without having to bid on their own," said Joseph.

The leadership of Cumberland County is especially excited about this prospect. "This program enables municipalities to more quickly attain a locked-in price far better than they could achieve working independently on these types of agreements," said Gerard Velazquez III, president and CEO of CCIA.

MTELP benefits in real time

The first two municipalities to take advantage of TD Bank's initiative are Commercial Township, which purchased a new fire truck for $600,000, and the City of Vineland, which scored thousands of "trash toters" for $1.9 million. As these two municipalities are already seeing, MTELP benefits the communities directly: Commercial's new fire truck increases residents' safety, while Vineland's trash toters are helping advance community environmental initiatives.

These are just two examples of how the program can positively impact communities. Public works equipment moves town-improvement projects forward. Updated computer systems allow for quicker processing of administrative documents, solving community members' complaints and problems faster. New HVAC systems provide comfortable environments in schools and public buildings. And, of course, the savings benefit of MTELP allows for money in municipalities' budgets to be redirected to other areas that need it most.

What's next for the program

As awareness of MTELP grows, other nearby municipalities are expected to embrace the program as well. "Municipal equipment financing is an effective way for local governments, school districts, and fire commissions to finance equipment acquisitions," said Gerard. "It is gaining in popularity because decision makers in the marketplace are always looking for more efficient ways to get desired equipment affordably and precisely when it is needed."

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