Home » Hopewell Township Communities of Light Celebration and budgeting concerns

Hopewell Township Communities of Light Celebration and budgeting concerns

by MercerMe Staff

By Cat Jackson

The Hopewell Township Committee met this Monday, December 4, for an unusually short meeting. Deputy Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning presided. 

The Committee opened with a proclamation honoring the December 4 Communities of Light day. This public event was sponsored by Womanspace to encourage public awareness about domestic violence in our local communities.

With the end of the year coming up, taxes and the Township budget were a main focus. Not everyone has paid all of their property taxes for the year. This is a mixed blessing for the Township finances: on the one hand, as long as the taxes remain unpaid, the Township has the right to add interest to the amount owed, in addition to collecting a 6% penalty. On the other hand, when writing up next year’s budget, the Township must use this year’s tax collection rate. If a tax payer is late in their payments, then the Township is forced to cut next year’s budget. The tax payment rate is about 99.0%, down from last year’s 99.4%.

To add to the budgeting concern, the annual tax sale had low turnout. When a property owner is in debt to the Township for several years, the Township will auction off that debt to third parties, who then have the right to collect the tax debt with interest – and to repossess the land if the property owner defaults. In past years, the Township might have earned more than two million dollars from one of these auctions. This year, there was very low turnout, and the Township netted less than $250,000. According to Township Administrator George Snyder, the low turnout likely resulted from a recent Supreme Court decision* that affects the potential payout that the winner of a bid can collect.

The Mayor and Township Committee would like to remind all residents that Open season for deer hunting has officially begun. Use caution and wear bright colors when active outdoors.

The featured photo and the photo below are by Mike Chipowsky who reported the following:

On a crisp and clear night, Hopewell Township held their annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. Following welcoming remarks from Deputy Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning, Chief James Rosso and a representative from Womanspace explained the meaning of the Communities of Light.

We were entertained by the Bear Tavern Elementary School singers, the Treble Makers, who were this years guests of honor. The entertainment continued with the gala lighting of the Holiday Tree and the Menorah. Those attending, were invited to take photos in an inflatable snow globe provided by BeiGene.

*Edited 12/12/ at 9:34 to correct the link to the court decision re: tax sales. Thanks to eagle-eyed reader Jim Schragger for the correction!

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MercerMe is the only hyperlocal, independent, online news outlet serving Hopewell Valley in Mercer County, New Jersey.

Contact us: [email protected] 

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