One NJ town could raise everyone’s taxes — unless you vote NO (Opinion)
Local politicians and bureaucrats at it again. This time, in Princeton, with a ballot question being voted on Dec. 11.
That's right, a ballot question authorizing more borrowing, spending and of course higher taxes in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The worst part of it is, given the low turnout, it's likely to pass and your taxes will go up.
Imagine how sneaky the politicians and education bureaucrats have to be trying to try to hide a huge spending plan during the holidays? They want to borrow nearly $27 million for school improvements — including security and HVAC.
The only positive here is that at least the question itself if straightforward. They want to borrow $26,928,351 to spend on the four elementary schools, the middle school and the high school. The portion of the debt each resident will be responsible for? $841.51, when you divide it up by all the residents in town. The worst part? Forty percent of the debt service comes from state aid. That means not only are Princeton residents on the hook, but the state taxpayers add to their burden and they can't do anything about it.
I voted NO, of course, with my mail-in ballot. I will be advising residents to do the same. If it passes, we'll be hanging an extra stocking on the mantle ... one for the superintendent with an IOU for $841.51.
Do you have an extra 800 bucks lying around for the politicians? The added yearly tax burden according to the superintendent is $57 per household in the $800,000 value range. The message reads like "don't worry, you can afford it."
We've heard this all before. It's only going to keep repeating until we fight back. No accountability for the money they already have in the budget. No accountability for how this new money will be spent. Just a general discussion about infrastructure, air conditioning and security. We have literally been down this road so many times it's getting ridiculous. The gas tax ... the State House renovation and just a few weeks ago another spending and borrowing scheme hidden as a necessary measure to keep our kids safe.
We came close to defeating the last measure. And if not for the slight of hand used by former Gov. Christie and his cohorts including elite insider Jeff Chiesa, a judge would have likely shot down the renovation borrowing. So we get another shot. If your town is like mine and they're trying to sneak in a windfall of cash for themselves out of your pocket, vote NO. Tell your friends and family. Vote NO and restore common sense to our local budgets. Force the pols and bureaucrats to prioritize as we all do everyday with our paychecks. It's up to you.
Here's the last email from the super:
Dear Parents, Students, Staff, and Community Members,
With the midterm elections behind us, there is still another very important election ahead. On Tuesday, December 11th, our community will be asked to vote on a facilities referendum for the Princeton Public Schools. The referendum is designed to improve all six school buildings, which currently serve nearly 3,800 students. Please be sure to mark your calendar, and please review the information below to learn what projects are included in the referendum as well as where and when to vote.
The proposed bond referendum of $26.9 million will focus on our schools’ most immediate and urgent needs. If passed, it will allow the district to make infrastructure improvements to our aging buildings so that our growing student population can learn in more secure and healthier environments.
The Princeton Board of Education voted 10-0 to bring this proposal to our community. In doing so, the Board sought to balance the needs of our schools with the economic impact on the residents of our town. The additional tax impact of the referendum in the first year will be approximately $57 for an average assessed home of $837,074. If the referendum is passed, security and HVAC will be upgraded at all six schools. At John Witherspoon, the referendum would also allow the district to add two additional classrooms, expand the nurse’s office and update the playing fields. At Princeton High School, the referendum includes four additional classrooms, a dining distribution center on the main floor, increased space for athletics, and an improved area for student counseling.
The polls for the vote will be open on Tuesday, December 11 from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. As this is a special election, polling locations have been consolidated to four locations and may be different from your usual polling site. Please refer to Polling Information for specific information about where to vote.
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