To the Editor:
I am writing to offer my support and endorsement of Mayor Kevin Kuchinski and Michael Ruger for Hopewell Township Committee.
Many issues are important to me at the local level, but I specifically want to talk about fiscal responsibility and fighting for lower taxes, where Kevin and Michael have a proven track record on the Hopewell Township Budget — Kevin, as mayor, and Michael, on the Finance Advisory Committee.
Like all of us in Hopewell Township, I care a lot about my property taxes, and I want to make sure that our government is using my money wisely. So, I did a little bit of research, and three things stood out to me on the 2017 Budget.
First of all, I was surprised to learn that of our property tax bill, only 13% goes to Hopewell Township (the balance goes to the school district and Mercer County), and that the Township has the lowest equalized tax rate in Mercer County. For the average price of $1,700 per residence, we get a whole lot of services (police protection, street paving, bulky waste, brush pickup, etc.).
Second, and hugely important, is that 2017 municipal spending is below 2015 levels, and the change from 2016 has come in below the rate of inflation. Getting spending under control has been a top priority of Mayor Kuchinski and the other Democrats on the Township Committee, and they have made great strides in reigning in the budget, which, under Republican control, increased more than 6% per year in 2013-15.
Finally, I am thankful that the Township is reducing debt in this environment of rising interest rates. When the Township carries excessive debt, we have to pay the interest on that debt through our tax dollars. Thus, we are spending money without receiving any services in return. If we want to keep our municipal taxes under control, we have to focus on reducing debt. I am thrilled that the 2017 Budget will be saving me, as a taxpayer, unnecessary interest costs.
If you want fiscal responsibility at the local level, vote for Mayor Kevin Kuchinski and Michael Ruger on November 7.