STA on Union County Taxes

In their latest blog piece the Summit Taxpayers’ Association (STA) asks whose fault is the alarming increase in government spending and taxation in Union County.

The question is not directly answered (though I have an answer) but STA, through research of budget documents, does make some salient points, including:

Meanwhile,  salaries and wages for the “Development of Lands for Recreation​ ​and​ ​Conservation”​ ​paid​ ​with​ ​proceeds​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Open​ ​Space,​ ​Recreation​ ​and​ ​Historic  Preservation​ ​Trust​ ​Fund​ ​have​ ​increased​ ​a​ ​jaw-dropping​ ​1,379%​ ​since​ ​2009,​ ​jumping​ ​more​ ​than  $2.9​ ​million​ ​for​ ​a​ ​total​ ​of​ ​$3.15​ ​million​ ​in​ ​2017.​ ​​ ​Despite​ ​the​ ​increased​ ​spending,​ ​there​ ​hasn’t​ ​been  much​ ​land​ ​preserved​ ​under​ ​the​ ​county’s​ ​open​ ​space​ ​program​ ​in​ ​recent​ ​years.​ ​​ ​By​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of  2010,​ ​the​ ​county​ ​had​ ​preserved​ ​320​ ​acres​ ​of​ ​land​ ​under​ ​the​ ​program​—​seven​ ​years​ ​(and​ ​$73  million)​ ​later,​ ​the​ ​total​ ​number​ ​of​ ​acres​ ​preserved​ ​now​ ​stands​ ​at​ ​322.

This is due to the decision made in 2010, when the Christie cap on tax increases came in, to steal a large part of the Open Space Trust Fund tax for the county’s own budget. It is taxpayers who don’t mind having their tax money stolen who are to blame – and there will be more coming if they know they can get away with it.

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