Category Archives: tax increase

>Potential New Plan For The Dredging Of Shadow Lake Would Include the Army Corp of Engineers

>In this video, Middletown resident Marilyn Michaels, presents information to the Middletown Township Committee about the new township tax rate and the potential use of the Army Corp of Engineers to develop a plan for the dredging of Shadow Lake that would include ideas to get rid of the arsenic laced dredged spoils from the bottom of the lake that would minimally impact to the surrounding area and be more cost efficient than potential plans now being discussed and considered by the major of the Township Committee at the recent Oct.17,2010 Township Committee meeting.

Marilyn Michaels lives on the edge of Shadow Lake and has recently been a leading voice behind its preservation and restoration.

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Filed under Army Corps of Engineers, dredging, Middletown, Middletown Township Committee, Shadow Lake, tax increase

>Letter: What Planet Do They Live On ?

>Here is the first offical post that makes it up onto the blog after my return. It is a letter from Barbara Thorpe who asked the question “what planet do they live on? “, which references a letter written by Tristan Nelsen, the failed former running mate of Gerry Scharfenberger, from his last re-election bid.

It should be pointed out that Tristan owes much to the local GOP establishment, she sits on many boards and commissions in Middletown and is herself part of the problem. Anyone that can justify an increase of 45% to the local municipal tax rate over the past 5 years, must be living on another planet, that goes for Ms. Nelsen as well as all the other supporters of the Middletown GOP, who burry their heads in the sand and refuse to see the truth:

I read with a sense of disgust the repeated letters supporting the mayor of Middletown by his party’s faithful cronies. The most recent one from the failed candidate who ran with Scharfenberger three years ago. Can’t imagine what planet she has inhabited in recent years because there is no denying the mismanagement of this township. The near forty five percent increase in the municipal tax levy in the last five years tells the whole story. No denying those figures ….no way at all.

The repeated lies and deception that this man engages in is beyond comprehension except it is explained by this man’s obsessive desire for re-election. He will do or say anything to achieve that goal. To hell with the people paying the bills in this township. He could not care less. He cannot be trusted to serve the people of Middletown. Far too engrossed in party politics !

It will take legislative action to ever remove supporting the schools from the property tax bill in New Jersey and to find a secure funding for the most important job the citizens of this community and this state have to do… the education of our youth. To think otherwise is delusional and selfish. It is incomprehensible to try and understand just when Mr.Scharfenberger thinks he could ever accomplish such a change in school funding without some extensive legal support for that kind of a change. But I guess I just forget that this man has never shown any regard for the rights of the people or respect for what is and is not legal. He never has had any reservation about what or who he tramples on to serve his own agenda.

COAH is the law in New Jersey. It has recently been reaffirmed and this state has been given five months to get back on track providing affordable housing. Only Sunday the Asbury Park Press printed an article regarding this very information There may be changes to COAH but it is not going away. Again this mayor is blowing in the wind !! Get real for a change !

The disregard for the residents of this community can be seen in the proposals for turf fields in locations nobody wants and at a time when we cannot afford them. Just grandstanding in hope of deceiving the people about his motives.He needs something to try and look good for re-election. Fix the problems of the flooding in the Bayshore that have been neglected for more than twenty years. The sneaky, underhanded actions and the neglect that has surrounded those efforts tells it all !

Try an honest effort to contain expenses and make the hard decisions to reduce the workforce,reduce bond expenses,and institute the necessary measures to properly plan municipal financial obligations. Can’t blame all the problems here on someone else so stop trying . Whatever plans this mayor claimed he had have never materialized . He never had any plan and the result is the exorbitant municipal tax increase this year.

Middletown will be a better community to live in when this man is gone from government here.

Barbara R. Thorpe
Middletown, NJ


Filed under COAH, Gerry Scharfenberger, letter to the editor, Middletown GOP, tax increase, Tristan Nelsen

>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

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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

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

>Video: Sean Byrnes on Planning for Budgets and Projects

>Middletown Township Committeeman Sean Byrnes discusses the Planning (or lack thereof) of Township budgets and projects that drive up the tax rate and cost local tax payers, at a Town Hall Meeting which took place at Panera Bread on September 27,2010

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Filed under bonding. Panera Bread, budget planning, Finance Committee, project planning, Sean F. Byrnes, tax increase, town hall meeting

>Letter: Foresight could keep tax increases under control

>The following letter appears in this weeks edition of the Independent:

As township officials try to explain the reason for the latest round of tax increases, they refer to a few factors, one of which is the cost of snow removal during the winter of 2010. This explanation is disappointing and frustrating on several levels. The main responsibility of our budget planning committee is to have the foresight to plan for expenses that we know are going to vary from season to season. This means calculating an average budget target for yearly snow removal, which shields us from major shortfalls during the high swings. So, if snowfall in 2009 was light, and we hadn’t fully used the budgeted money for that line item, we could roll it over to 2010 and have some fiscal cushion when snowfall is heavier. Are we to assume if the winter of 2011 is mild, we’ll have a budget surplus and tax rates will decrease? I doubt it. Are we to assume that our budget planners simply approach snow removal in singleyear increments, rather than looking at well-known trends, and then hope for mild winters? It sounds like they do. While I can understand the reduction in state aid as a factor in the budget shortfall, I simply can’t buy into the rationale that property taxes are increasing 13 percent partly because we had a bad winter in 2010.

Township officials need to understand that the residents of Middletown are fearful about these soaring tax rates on two fronts. In the short term we’re wondering how much longer we can afford to live in a town where our monthly spending in property taxes is larger than our mortgage payments. That fact alone is stunning.

In the long term we’re wondering how we’ll ever find buyers for our homes that come with such staggering property tax rates. One of many things needed to get this mess under control is proper planning. I question how well that planning process is being executed when heavier than usual snowfall is cited in the list of factors for a double-digit tax increase.

Tim Geiselman


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Filed under budget planning, letter to the editor, Middletown, tax increase, the Independent

>Video: Sean Byrnes Talks About Recent Tax increase

>Middletown Township Committeeman Sean Byrnes addresses the municipal tax rate increase in front of attendees at the Byrnes & Mahoney Town Hall Meeting held on September 27,2010 at Panera Bread in Middletown.

Included in this video is a ten year Tax Chart that shows the history of tax increases by the Township Committee. The chart shows that during Gerry Scharfenberger’s on the Township Committee (3 as mayor, 2 as deputy mayor) the municipal tax rate has risen by over 41%.

Sean Byrnes states that this year’s increase was larger than the school system’s and County combined.

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Filed under Mary Mahoney, Middletown Township Committee, Sean F. Byrnes, tax chart, tax increase