Barking up the wrong tree

| 16 Aug 2012 | 01:46

    Angry lakefront property owners and local business owners have monopolized town council meetings for the past several months. Why? Because their property taxes went up after the recent revaluation. My taxes, along with those of many other residents, decreased. This is an indication that I have been paying more than my fair share for a number of years, and in effect subsidizing those who now have to pay more. While I can appreciate your concerns, you also need to get your hand out of my pocket. Is the town council supposed to arbitrarily lower your assessed value and arbitrarily increase mine so that I can pay more and you can pay less?
    Property taxes are high in West Milford, but they are high everywhere in New Jersey. The difference between our town and others is quality of life. Instead of traffic and strip malls, we have lakes and wildlife.
    The biggest share of our property taxes (60 percent) goes to support the local school system. A fairer way to fund the schools would be through state income taxes, which are graduated. Those who earn more, pay more.
    In conclusion, you’re barking up the wrong tree by constantly complaining at council meetings. Your complaints need to be directed to our legislators in Trenton who continue to turn a blind eye to the inequity of using property taxes to fund the schools. They get a free pass, and the local elected officials get all the blame.

    Robert Nolan
    Former Councilman