Yes, I am running as a Democrat. No, I do NOT want to raise your taxes.
As I walk door to door to meet you and hear your thoughts, it is clear that Summit’s high property taxes are a big concern. I’ve heard it from Democrats, Republicans and Independents. And I am listening.
If you'd like to hear how I will approach our residential taxes, click below. If you'd like a more in-depth description of my plan, keep reading. If you can't get enough,
Keeping Summit affordable will be one of my top priorities on Council. An economically and demographically diverse population is one of Summit’s key assets. I am committed to making sure senior citizens, young working people, families and empty nesters all have a place in our community.
I will approach our high residential taxes as follows:
1. Commit to fiscal responsibility in the spending of our tax dollars. I take the responsibility of spending your hard earned tax dollars seriously. On issues of spending, I promise to do the research, ask the hard questions and evaluate all decisions on two principles: Is it necessary? Does it provide a common good to Summit residents? One recent decision I disagreed with was Council’s decision to borrow more than $300,000 for decorative cobblestone paving on Beechwood Road. Click HERE to learn more.
2. Strengthen our existing commercial tax base. Actively supporting downtown businesses is a win-win. A vibrant downtown makes Summit a great place to live and successful, thriving businesses bring in more tax revenue. If you haven’t seen it yet, please take a moment to read this position paper: This is What We Stand For: Bringing New Ideas to Make Downtown Summit Thrive.
3. Support thoughtful redevelopment in the Broad Street corridor. Summit’s planning board recently moved forward with designating this corridor as an “Area in Need of Redevelopment.” If approved by Council, it means that we can look at redeveloping this area with multi-use properties encompassing retail, entertainment, apartments and parking to extend the downtown business district. Well-planned and thoughtful development in this area could bring additional tax revenues to Summit’s coffers and take the pressure off residential taxes.
4. Continue to foster a working relationship with Union County. This may sound simple, but it’s important. Why? Because Summit’s Council has no control over the taxes that are paid to the county. In the past, demands made by Summit residents and past Councils have not been successful. The way to move forward is to work collaboratively with the county to ensure that Summit county taxes come back to benefit Summit residents. Mayor Radest has been instrumental in bringing county money to Summit in the form of a grant for the new Senior Center, a commitment to re-turf Glenside Fields, monies toward the completion of the Tatlock tennis courts and the finalization of the lease for the Transfer Station property.
I am committed to keeping Summit affordable with reasonable residential property taxes, tax money coming back into Summit from Union County and thoughtful spending. As always, I welcome your feedback and look forward to hearing from you.
Beth Little is the Democratic candidate for Summit Common Council, At-Large.