Daily Archives: October 9, 2010

>Middletown resident seeks accurate Township budget and Municipal Tax increase information

>Press Release

Middletown resident seeks accurate Township budget and Municipal Tax increase information

(Middletown, Monmouth County NJ)-

Patrick Short a long time resident of Middletown stated today that he intends to file an “Order to Show Cause” with the Superior Court of Freehold based on an official mailing he received from the Township of Middletown on the 2010 Township budget and 2010 property tax.

Early last week, Mr. Short received an official letter that was sent to over 21, 000 households in the Middletown Township entitled “2010 Property Tax Fact Sheet”.

Mr. Short claims that official correspondence contains false and misleading information when it comes to the amount of municipal tax that will increase and that he as a resident is expected to pay in 2010.

Mr. Short challenges several passages in the official correspondence; specifically the letter reads, “This year’s final adopted budget which totals $64.7 million reflects a reduction of 40 staff positions…..”, and where the letter reads, “This budget represents a 2.67% increase in property tax.”

Mr. Short argues that the Municipal tax increase for 2010 is really closer to 13.4% and not 2.67% if the Approved 2010 Township Budget that is posted on the Township website is correct. Short compared the line item titled “Amount to be Raised by Taxes for Support of Municipal Budget, for Local tax Municipal Purposes” in the 2010 approved budget to same line item in the approved Amended 2009 Township Budget: $45,349,477.91 as compared to $40,001,112.58, resulting in an increase of $5,348,365 or a 13.4% municipal tax increase to support his claim.

At least fifty (50) residents verified Mr. Short’s claim by checking their past tax receipts.

Mr. Short would not comment on whether he felt the official letter was published for political purposes given Middletown Township’s appointed Mayor, Gerald Scharfenberger, is up for re-election this year and the fact that he has increased Municipal taxes approximately 40% since he has been on the Township Committee. Instead, Short stated that he would encourage Middletown taxpayers to check their past municipal tax receipts to see how much the Municipal taxes have increased.

As for the Township’s claimed to have reduced a total of 40 staff positions, Mr. Short stated that when he compared the 2009 Township payroll to the current 2010 Township payroll dated August 13 2009, he could only find a total reduction of 5 staff positions. “The only way the Township could come close to the numbers that they are citing of a 40 staff reduction would be to compare the staffing levels over a 20 year span, from 1990 to 2010 levels”.

Mr. Short also challenges the Township claim that reads, “The adopted budget made up for nearly $ 10 million in lost revenue in 2010.” Mr. Short found when comparing the General Revenue totals between 2009 and 2010 the revenue shortfall was just over $2 million dollars and not the $10M in lost revenue as the Township claims,

“The Township has an obligation to state the facts and not spin the information. What disturbs me is that the township used taxpayer funding to publish and distribute this false information to every house hold in Middletown. And, the local newspapers published this inaccurate information. Middletown residents are making decisions based on inaccurate information and it needs to be corrected immediately”, stated Short. Short’s intention is challenge is to have the Township of Middletown show how the figures they published and distributed were derived and ultimately have the accurate numbers published so taxpayers can make informed decisions.

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Filed under budget increase, budget introduction, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown, Patrick Short, press release, property tax cap, tax fact sheet, township budget

>President Obama’s Weekly Address 10/9/10: Strengthening Education, Not Cutting It

>The President explains that even as we focus on creating jobs immediately, we must also ensure the economy is better for our children by investing in education – not cutting it by 20% as Congressional Republicans propose.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x2.swf

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Filed under affordable education, education cuts, Education Funding, Job creation, President Obama, Republicans

>President Obama,s

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>Holt or Sipprelle? Look (and learn) before you leap

>The following Op-Ed appeared in the Times of Trenton yetserday and was posted on NJ.com:

When we get frustrated, we get cranky. And when we get cranky, we sometimes do stupid things that wind up hurting us. We’re on the verge of that right now.

Washington frustrates everyone at the moment. And so, the mood in the electorate is: “Throw out all those bums in Washington — get rid of the whole bunch!” This makes it a bad time to be an incumbent, and a fine time to be a challenger offering simplistic nostrums that appeal to cranky people who are not thinking clearly.

But each campaign is still a choice between two individuals, not between “the incumbents” and “the challengers.” Depending on which of the two individual candidates the voters in each district and state send to Congress, voters’ frustration will either swell or diminish in the years that follow.

In New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, the choice between those two individuals could not possibly be more stark, so voters here could not possibly have a greater duty to understand the profound differences between them.

One is a legislator respected on both sides of the aisle, the other a man who made millions on Wall Street. Looking at their respective positions on critical issues, it is apparent that their personal life experiences shape their perspectives and policies. Challenger Scott Sipprelle is a super-smart financier who amassed an enormous fortune and aims to sustain both his own wealth and that of others who have figured out how to get rich. Incumbent Rep. Rush Holt, D-Hopewell, is a super-smart scientist who studies the interconnections between cause and effect in our society and aims to ensure that sound-bite solutions don’t bite us back. A few examples illustrate these differences:

Rep. Holt has been a driving force in Congress to establish an agency dedicated to protecting consumers from the kinds of flimsy “investments” that proved so deceptive even professional financiers got snookered, wreaking havoc with the U.S. economy and American families from coast to coast. Scott Sipprelle opposes this protection and thinks consumers who invest should fend for themselves.

Rush Holt insists on fiscal responsibility through congressional adherence to the pay-as-you-go (“PayGo”) legislation passed during the Clinton administration, which balances any new expenditure with commensurate cuts and/or new revenues. Scott Sipprelle favors the Bush tax policy of breaks for the very rich and for corporations. PayGo brought about a balanced budget, while the Bush policies created calamitous debts and deficits. Extending breaks for the very rich will add $700 billion more debt for our children to pay off.

Rush Holt has worked to strengthen Medicare, which provides the most cost-effective health care in the U.S. He realizes that there are certain times — maybe not a lot, but some — when the federal government is actually more efficient and wiser than private industry. Meanwhile, Scott Sipprelle thinks that our trillions of dollars in Social Security should now be handed over to Wall Street financiers — the same folks whose feckless derivative vehicles and reckless manipulations have brought the U.S. to the brink of a second Great Depression.

Rush Holt sees that American schools are in serious trouble and understands the implications for sapping our global competitiveness, not to mention stunting the lives of ill-educated individuals. So he is supporting strong initiatives to improve schools’ science and math programs. Scott Sipprelle reportedly would abolish the Department of Education….

Read More >>> Here

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Filed under 12th congressional district, NJ.com, Rush Holt, Scott Sipprelle, Times of Trenton

>Letter: Fed Up With "Tax Man" Scharfenberger

>I’m fed up in Middletown. How much more does the Township Committee majority think we homeowners can take?

Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger, the “tax man,” went to Trenton to get dispensation for his unconscionable increase in taxes.

The state has a 4 percent cap on tax increases, but thanks to his connections in Trenton, he was allowed to increase them more than 12 percent.

Scharfenberger would like us to believe the increase is only 2.8 percent. This is a smokescreen that lets him hide behind the actual increase. Don’t be fooled.
It’s time to retire the tax man with your vote for Sean Byrnes and Mary Mahoney, who better understand the pressures on Middletown homeowners.

Byrnes is the only serious financial voice on the Township Committee. He voted down this unprecedented increase in taxes because he felt the township could have done a better job in planning this year’s budget.

Marilyn Tuohy
MIDDLETOWN

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Filed under Gerry Scharfenberger, letters to the Editor, Middletown, property tax cap, Sean F. Byrnes, tax increase, tax rate

>Letter: Scharfenberger Is A Master Of Deception

>Mayor Scharfenberger is a master! He is a master of deception. He would have Middletown taxpayers believe that he has managed Middletown so well that he has only increased our taxes by 2.8 percent. If that were the case he would not have had to go to Trenton to answer to higher authorities when he surpassed the state cap on municipal budgets. Trenton placed a four percent cap on increases and Mayor Scharfenberger’s proposed budget was almost 14 percent. Does he really think we are so blind that we don’t know this? The final increase in the tax rate has gone from $0.35 to $0.3975 per $100 of assessed value. This is an increase of over 13 percent for the homeowner.

Mayor Scharfenberger’s deceptive tactics must end along with his tenure in office this year. Current Committeeman Sean Byrnes and his running mate Mary Mahoney stand for managing costs with tight controls on spending. They stand for improved planning that can reduce tax increases. They stand for cutting waste and inefficiency from township operations. They stand with homeowners, not supporting special interests. They stand with you and you should join me in supporting them.

Dora Crisafulli
Middletown

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Filed under budget planning, Gerry Scharfenberger, Sean F. Byrnes, tax increase