VACANT HOMES IN Gloucester Twp. Who cares, and who doesn't

Gloucester Township, Camden County (Opinion) July 2, 2018

When you look around Gloucester Township, you see some very high end things. You see fine, expensive artificial turf fields, brand spanking new township vehicles, and taxpayer funded high end, high paying jobs. The township has done it's share of spending, on "Premium" things, for a "Premium price, as was indicated by the current council President.
When you drive into the various neighborhoods of GT, you see much more, but it doesn't appear to be high end or premium for that matter.

You see a growing number of vacant homes. You see those that have been vacant for 8-9 years, and some more new ones popping up within the past few years. There could be a number of reasons for these recent homes becoming vacant, but the majority of them seem to be caused by the ever escalating property taxes that the township has seen in the past 5 years. The property taxes have been raised 3 times, just in the past 5 years, near double digit amounts in that time, and it shows no sign of stopping.

Who is effected by these vacant homes? Who seems to care, and who doesn't appear to care? When you come right down to it, the families that were forced out of these homes by these tax increases care, and care very much, but it goes much deeper than that. The good friendly neighbors that never had a clue that their good friends next door were struggling until the moving trucks pulled up. We all know someone that never showed those signs, and were all of a sudden gone. The relatives of those vacating their homes, and the local supermarkets, and convenience store owners care, and will miss that family.

When the township Politicians are asked by a packed room of tax paying residents, do they seem to care? Most that attend those meetings say that those same elected officials never considered cutting back spending on non essential things, or luxury items, in order to keep taxes at a livable level. Some have actually pleaded with officials not to do this to them,but again, it steamrolled into a 7-0 yes vote, and on to the Mayor to sign. Do those local Politicians care? We can only say that you have to be the judge of that.

The July quarterly property tax bills will be out this month, and it looks like we will see more of our friends and neighbors leaving. Sadly enough we hope that they have a chance to say good bye to those we call our friends.