Letters

Vote for Open Space

Oct 31, 2018

To the Editor:

On Election Day, Beach Haven voters can restore our parks and improve public space by passing the Green Acres land preservation tax.

New Jersey provides a matching grant of 50 percent to a town with a Green Acres tax when purchasing open space to utilize as public space. For example, if the borough wanted to build a parking lot in the center of town that would be good for business and give residents more space in front of their houses during the busy summer months, the cost would be reduced by 50 percent.

The open space would be permeable, reducing flooding while beautifying the town like a pocket park. In addition, these funds would allow for improvement of our current parks at a 50 percent savings.

Why would a Beach Haven Taxpayers Association support a tax? It is quite simple. Most of the homeowners of Beach Haven are seasonal and are not eligible to vote in local elections.

Established in 1962, BHTA is a nonprofit “watchdog” to identify issues and to monitor the local governing bodies on behalf of all taxpayers. BHTA’s mission is to build a network of engaged taxpayers who care about the borough’s vitality and affordability. That would include all issues affecting our taxpayers including cultural, environmental and economic. We are here to advocate for the betterment of the community.

Of course, we advocate for keeping our taxes as low as possible, but we also advocate for issues that improve the borough, such as the building and beautification projects that are occurring and in planning in Beach Haven as we speak. We believe the Green Acres tax falls into this category.

Similar to other business revitalization and beautification initiatives that have occurred in Beach Haven, it accomplishes the following:

• Protects and improves property values;

• Makes the borough more attractive to visitors, thus creating recreational opportunities for visitors and residents providing potential revenue sources;

• Funds park maintenance and historical preservation projects.

The BHTA board narrowly supported this tax. The reason was the board felt it was fair, inexpensive and transparent. Green Acres funds can’t be raised without voter approval and the money must be used for preservation projects. Due to the benefits of the tax, we encourage the borough to pursue tax savings to neutralize its impact, which will clearly be a win for all taxpayers.

John Hailperin, president

Beach Haven Taxpayers Assn.

 

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