Powerful Tool

Jul 25, 2018

To the Editor:

To stick one’s head in the sand and pretend that a problem does not exist is commonly known as the ostrich approach. The 9th District legislators did their version of the ostrich when they advocated for a failed version of home rule.

Sen. Connors has taken the position that municipal consolidation will not produce a savings for taxpayers and that smaller government has proven far more effective in providing services. He states that under the 2-percent tax levy cap, municipalities have little flexibility to increase spending, a cap that has more holes than Swiss cheese and is in part responsible for making New Jersey one of the highest taxed state in the country.

Earlier this year, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney formed a group to examine New Jersey’s state and local tax structure. One suggestion that really jumped out was requiring municipalities with fewer than 5,000 people, like Tuckerton, which has 3,339, to merge with an adjacent larger town, which would be Little Egg Harbor.

In New Jersey 191 of the state’s 565 municipalities have fewer than 5,000 residents, resulting in a costly duplication of services. Such a move would also put an end to municipalities on Long Beach Island, where all communities have year-round populations under that figure.

Nostalgia for New Jersey’s “home rule” tradition is one thing, and economic realities are another. Consolidation can be a powerful tool to provide more services, in some cases at less cost. It’s time to get our heads out of the sand and get real about property taxes.

Art Mooney

Little Egg Harbor


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