As was the case in 2010, 2014 , 2016, 2018, Gloucester Township elected officials voted overwhelmingly for another huge property tax increase for 2020, while residents are still reeling from a still present pandemic, that was put many residents out of work.
While a good number of GT residents are still struggling to make ends meet, and especially seniors, whom are on a fixed income and sheltered at home during this Covid 19 pandemic, Mayor Mayer, proposed a budget to council that was passed despite the plea of many residents once again.
With property tax increases of about 8%, 12%, 9% and now another 10%, in all non election years (even numbered) this could be the proverbial nail in the structure of taxpayer’s homes, that have lived here for so many years.
The compassionate remedy for the residents would have been for the municipality to follow the lead of ALL other entities of the township, including the school boards, to balance the budget, and keep taxes at zero, or even with a little bit of work, they could have lowered taxes or deferred them for those in need at this very difficult, and unprecedented time.
As many residents have angrily said, “the politicians prescription for the pandemic wasn’t a pill, but an injection. An injection right in our rear ends”. This is the last thing that residents needed.
When folks discuss politics, they so often forget that the local government is solely responsible for your local property taxes. They can try to blame others, but no other government body forces them to do so.
It is the State of New Jersey, and it’s local representatives that allow “loopholes” in the 2% max CAP for local taxes, but it is the local government that ignores them rather then adhere to those guidelines set forth to minimize the burden to it’s residents, so they do not get walloped so hard, all at one time. Gloucester Township Mayor, and council choose to ignore that CAP, except for in local election years, as they have always done in the past.
In 2021, there will be another local election for Mayor , and 3 council seats, they will again find a miraculous manipulation of the numbers to have a zero increase for that election year. Two things are at issue with that. One sets up for an even bigger whopper of a tax increase in 2022, and the other, is that Mayer, and those council candidates will count on it’s GT voters to have a short memory, and forget again, as they always have in the past.
The Covid 19 pandemic shall soon pass, but the repercussions of this recent, and hard hitting property tax increase will have very long lasting effects in it’s residents, or at least those can afford to stay.