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Letter to Chesterfield, NJ Township Committee urging tax reduction

This petition had 364 supporters


Dear Committee Members,

 

We, the undersigned residents of Chesterfield would like to bring to your notice that we are extremely upset to receive a letter from the township office, increasing our property taxes from 4.8% – 5.0% on each household – an average of $961 – 1,171/house. We trust that this increase is unjustified. We believe such an increase should have been put to a public referendum but it was not done (we believe) due to the fact that the township was granted an exemption from Governor Christie 2% cap.  We are appalled to continue to see our property taxes increasing every year since 2013:

                        Municipal Purpose Tax 2013 -2016

                                    2013    0.129

                                    2014    0.179

                                    2015    0.224

                                    2016    0.263

                        A total of +0.134, an increase of 100% in the last 4 years.

 

We do not understand how such increase is justifiable without increasing any of the basic services to the community - the simple services other townships provide.

For example:

           None of the following basic services are available to the residents

·         There is no decent Public Library

·         There are no decent Park/Lake/Recreation facilities

·         There is no senior citizen community assistance such as – Bus transportation to hospitals, markets or other entertainment centers.

·         No summer camp activities for children

A few years ago in our community, an elementary school (K to 6th Grade) was built with $37.4 million dollars without proper plan on how the mortgage loan will be serviced. This loan is causing the township residents to pay through their nose as increased taxes. The old school building was vacated telling us that it would be either rented or sold. Township did neither of that but ended up demolishing it. Now we understand, on the same site, the township will build a new administration building with $5 million dollars. This additional expenditure will again will fall on the shoulders of the residents as increased property taxes. What will you do with the existing office facility? Is there an exit plan for this old building?

 

Further more, we understand there is a large sum of legal expense, township is reserving to fight the “Prevention of Gas Pipeline” going through the town. How did the township decide that the residents will pay for a decision they made in selling municipal property to a gas company in the first place that will build a gas compression station and that the company is now planning to run a pipeline through our town endangering our safety and welfare?

 

We believe that the township management has not demonstrated financial responsibility in running the township administration and managing the budget & expenses within its means. We do not see any legitimate reason to increase our property taxes to over $1000.00 on average for each house.

It is an obscene amount of our hard earned money to pay $11,018.81 for a house assessed at $391,432.

As houses in a new development are occupied, it should add additional tax monies to the township. This is a small township and it has approximately 8,000 people; and if the taxes are not controlled, the township will start to lose its residents quickly. This will further reduce the tax base and reduce the revenue. And when the tax base is reduced, you will increase the taxes and this becomes a vicious circle. Therefore, we sincerely urge the Township Governing Body to immediately stop the tax increase.

 



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