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THE COMMUNITY VOICE: Letters to the Editor

New DPW Director 

Congratulated

Ken Schwartz & Frank Hoffman

Ken Schwartz &
Frank Hoffman

PERTH AMBOY – A photo appeared years ago when I became Public Works Director similar to this one. Frank was appointed director several months ago, and still has not been acknowledged. Understanding the importance of this position always go unnoticed. As directors we have many responsibilities to the public , protecting the health, safety and welfare of the community. I would like to acknowledge Franks accomplishments and wish him the best

Kenneth J Schwartz CPWM

Public Works Director Retired

Reducing Property 

Taxes in NJ

Can the high property taxes in NJ be lowered? Yes, but not by attacking democracy and local control (“home rule”). NJ did not have the highest property taxes under the 1844 state constitution. Houses then were taxed on “true value” (a fixed amount) rather than an “assessed value” which caused escalating taxes. The 1947 state constitution consolidated power in the Governor’s office and made him the most powerful governor in the nation. Did this consolidation work for the people of New Jersey?

There are two remedies for high property taxes. One is to split the state sales tax between each county and the state. New York has done this since 1968. The other is to allow each municipality to collect the first 1% of the income tax paid by their residents. I read that Pennsylvania has this law. These proposals will reduce property taxes unlike a nebulous proposal of “consolidation” which is vaguely defined.

What about consolidating the Legislature? Do we need two houses when just one Assembly or Senate can represent the voters? Electing the Legislature and state officials (Governor, Attorney-General, Secretary of State, etc.) each year will keep them attentive to the voters.

When NJ began its income tax the personal exemption was $1,000, the same as the Federal amount. Today the Federal amount is $4,000 while the NJ amount hasn’t changed in forty years. This shows the lack of political power by the citizens is the real cause of high property taxes. James Madison and others said freedom and liberty only result from distributed political power, the antithesis of consolidated power.

If “consolidation” is the magic cure for high costs the consolidation on the state level should surely cure any shortfall in taxes that may result from splitting the sales tax with each county.

Ronald A. Sobieraj

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Perth Amboy Calendar

MON. Jan 22
• City Council, Caucus,
4:30 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

WED. Jan 24
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

THURS. Jan 25
• Historic Preservation Commission
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

MON. Jan 29
• Special Public Meeting, RE: Discussion of Rezoning Ordinance
6 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

 

Stay informed! Attend public meetings. All are welcome!

South Amboy Calendar

WED. Jan. 31
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

WED. Feb. 7
• City Council, Business,
6 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

Stay informed! Attend public meetings. All are welcome!