I hope everyone remains safe, and continued thanks to all of our essential workers. I have been asked about my plan to cut taxes, and I thought this answer would be valuable to all.
First, before I talk about my plan, some background on our tax assessment is necessary for those who may be unaware. Our tax bill is derived from and goes to multiple budgets, including but not limited to, municipal, education, county, and shade tree. The portion that the Board of Commissioners controls makes up only about 25% of our property tax bills. So if the Commissioners managed to get their budgets to zero, that would only reduce our taxes by about 25%. However, that would come with a loss of essential services, such as police, fire, EMS, water, sewer, etc., which would cause our property insurance rates to skyrocket. Assuming each commissioner controls an equal share (I know that they do not but for simplicity’s sake), if any one Commissioner were to zero out the portion of the budget, which they are responsible for, that would only amount to 5% off our tax bills. So for a taxpayer paying $10,000 per year in property taxes, 5% off would amount to $500.
Any meaningful plan to cut taxes would have to start with the current budget and work within its framework and constraints. To have more effective savings, I propose reigning in unnecessary spending and a hiring freeze so that we take on no further liabilities to get the budget under control. My initiatives under My Nutley Plan found at www.johnVkelly.com looks to be proactive and forward thinking by creating alternative revenue sources, sources that create revenue for the town other than taxation, so that annual cost increases such as salaries won't affect the taxpayer and potentially lower our tax bills. By creating these other streams of revenue we create different wells of money for the town to draw from, which is imperative, because in my opinion the well of the taxpayer is bone dry. Being smart with our money is key to any tax reduction.
The County is the biggest waste of our tax dollars! Many people do not know that we pay nearly an equal amount of our taxes to the County as we do to the Town. To my knowledge we have one (1), only one County Park in Nutley and NO other County assets. Think about all the parks and services covered by our municipal budget and compare it to the one park the County provides us. A better question is why are we paying almost as much to the County as we do to our own town and getting nothing but a park for it. As Commissioner, I would zealously advocate for a reduction in County taxes to the board of Freeholders.
Please remember to use one of your 5 votes to Vote by Mail for John V. Kelly, and Mail It In For Kelly!