Letter to the Editor: Mayor Kuchinski and his Corporate Welfare

Letter to the Editor: Mayor Kuchinski and his Corporate Welfare

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To the Editor:

When real estate developers pay less than their fair share in property taxes, the rest of us pay more than our fair share in property taxes to make up for the lost revenue.

The Great Hopewell Township Corporate Give-Away just got even greater if you are multi-billion (that’s with a “B”) dollar corporate real estate developer US Homes Corporation, also known as Lennar, also known as US Homes at Hopewell Urban Renewal, but not so good for you if you are a Hopewell Township taxpayer.

Call it the Township Give-Away that the Township Committee just keeps on giving-away.

At the Township Committee meeting, on Monday, July 30, Mayor Kuchinski’s Democrat majority, with Republican John Hart dissenting, voted to give a property tax break to the real estate developer of the Zaitz Tract behind ShopRite. For the first 5 years of their 30 year property tax break, the developer will be required to pay only 66 per cent of their fair share of property taxes.  For the next 5 years, they pay only 75 per cent of their fair share of property taxes. Then, for the next 20 years, they still do not pay their full fair share of property taxes by receiving a one-half of one per cent tax break.

Previously, in December, 2017, Mayor Kuchinski signed off on selling the Zaitz Tract, which was purchased by the township for over $5 million, to U.S. Homes for $24,000.  While it sounds unbelievable, you may read the “AGREEMENT FOR PURCHASE AND SALE OF REAL ESTATE by and between TOWNSHIP OF HOPEWELL, a Municipal Corporation of the State of New Jersey, Seller or Township, And U.S. HOMES CORPORATION D/B/A LENNAR, a Delaware corporation, Purchaser,” dated December 11, 2017, for yourself on the township website.

Reminds me of Native Americans selling Manhattan Island to Peter Minuit for $24.00 worth of trinkets, but at least they did not give the Dutch a tax break.

Harvey Lester, Titusville, NJ

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.

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