To the Editor:
We are writing today to express our concern over the substantial tax increase proposed by the Hopewell Valley School Board. We represent the many seniors who have chosen to live here despite the heavy tax burden that this area carries. We enjoy the positive energy that comes with living in a vibrant and family oriented community. We appreciate the value having a strong school system brings to our homes. We understand that when the time comes for us to sell our homes, we reap a benefit from the strength of the schools.
However, we live on fixed incomes. Many of us lived here while our children grew up and we paid taxes then to cover their educations. We have continued to pay our taxes to support the next generation of children and then the next. All that we ask is that those elected to serve on the school board put forth a budget that continues to provide an excellent education while respecting the taxpayers who support it.
Recently, the mayors of the three municipalities which form the school district, Kristin McLaughlin of Hopewell Township, Joe Lawver of Pennington Borough, and Paul Anzano of Hopewell Borough, published a press release announcing the great news of an increase in state aid to the school district for the upcoming year. The mayors expressed their hope that the increase in aid would be reflected in savings for the residents. It seems that this will not happen. Seniors, and anyone else on a fixed income, will suffer the most.
We join other voices in the community in calling on the school board to rethink its decision to raise taxes by 5.3%. We are certain that with the increased state aid, declining enrollment, and the promises that were made when the voters passed the bond issue just a few years ago, an increase in our tax rate is the wrong way to go. We strongly urge the Board to reconsider.
Hopewell Valley Senior Foundation
Lawrence A. Mansier, President
Kim Johnson, Vice President