Higher taxes are stealing something more precious than money from us. We work hard for our money and often work the majority of our waking hours to support our families and have a better life. Higher taxes means we will have to work harder and longer hours with less time and support for our families. The current Town Council is deciding to spend nearly $6,000 from each of our Berkeley Heights households to build a new expensive and unnecessary municipal building without our input. It is not worth our hard earned money and family sacrifice for a town building when we have an acceptable building already. Our town is already dangerously ~$50 million in debt and we have other important priorities such as roads, traffic, schools and downtown development which will need to be postponed, reduced or even higher taxes will be needed. Neighboring towns have built municipal complexes for less than half this wasteful Council’s projections. The Berkeley Heights Town Council needs to be accountable to us as residents and open to our voices to keep taxes low. We do NOT need a new expensive municipal building at taxpayers’ expense!
The current Town Council’s proposed ‘Development Plan’ leaves many questions for Berkeley Heights
The current Berkeley Heights Town Council proposed significantly increasing taxes, adding more than 33% more households and have not funded infrastructure and arranged support for schools to match. The current Town Council approved approximately 1,500 new households above the current ~4,500 Berkeley Heights households
Let me ask some questions:
- How will traffic be managed as well as the roads which are already in poor repair as there is no obvious increase in funding to support water, sewer, fire, police, and transportation needs for the 33% increase in households?
- Of the projected 1,500 new households in total, 206 are expected to be low/moderated income units as current council claimed it was not profitable for developers to plan less (though other nearby towns have successfully implemented less). How was this figure determined and why weren’t citizens informed of options? Why do many of the Council’s planned additional 1,500 apartments and low income housing pay less than current residents’ taxes?
- Why have there been no studies made or made available on the effects and options for how Berkeley Heights infrastructure and schools will cope with a greater than a 30% increase in households? Where will the funding come from? Taxes will already increase $6,000 per household to pay for the extravagant new municipal building, will taxes need to increase even further to pay for the necessary support for schools, water, sewer, fire, police, and transportation needs?