To the Editor:
The financial agreement the Hopewell Township Committee entered into with the developer of the Zaitz tract at the HTC’s July 30 meeting is expected to net beyond $90 million more into township coffers than had the agreement not been approved.
Said township attorney Kevin McManimon at the meeting: “Those numbers, over the 30-year term that they’re asking for here, translate into approximately $112 million over the life of the 30-year exemption to the township.”
And if the property had been taxed as usual?
“In the event that this exemption is not granted,” McManimon said prior to the vote, “the amount that the township would realize, its share of conventional taxes over the 30 years, would be approximately $18.5 million.”
That’s a difference of about $93.5 million. But, you didn’t read that in the opinion letter written here last week that complained of a “giveaway.”
No, the giveaway at the HTC meeting late last month was the $93.5 million committee member John Hart – mentioned in that letter last week for his ‘no’ vote on the agreement – voted to leave on the table.
I believe that over the course of this agreement our fellow Hopewell Township residents will elect committee members – beginning with re-electing Julie Blake this November – who will see the revenue from this agreement for what it is: An opportunity to keep taxes low township-wide and reduce debt, making sure our tax dollars go less to interest and more to services that will benefit those who live here now and those who will come to live here. That’s part of what community is about, and that’s the way a thriving Hopewell Township sets its priorities.
Mr. Borders is a member of the Hopewell Township Zoning Board but writes as an individual resident.