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The following are letters submitted to the editor of MercerMe:

The Continuing Lack of Transparency

At their August 27 meeting, facing concern from residents, the Hopewell Township Committee sought to justify the $100 million PILOT agreement they had passed in late July.

The main concern, expressed by several members of the public, has to do with the inherent nature of these PILOT (Payment in lieu of taxes) agreements.  In 2010, the NJ State Controller found that for school districts, the impact of such agreements is direct. To keep reading, please click this link.

 

Claims PILOT will hurt school funding won’t pan out

“Taxes. Do something about taxes.”

Ask a New Jersey resident for an issue facing the state, and that’s the response you’ll most often get.

But, ever since four members of our Hopewell Township Committee decided to do something to give our stretched tax dollars much-needed flexibility at the HTC’s July 30 meeting, the opinion page has seen much disapproval from some former HTC members or those close to former members. To keep reading, please click this link.

 

Deputy Mayor Blake and Her Not-So-Funny Vote

Did you hear the one about the Deputy Mayor who denied taking much-needed funding from the schools, even though she previously voted to shift school-entitled revenue from our schools to the township?  This occurred when she voted in favor of the Zaitz Tract property tax reduction to multi-billion (that’s with a “B”) dollar corporate real estate developer U.S. Homes. To keep reading, please click this link.

 

Letter to the Editor: PILOTS, A powerful tool for keeping taxes low

Drive southwest on Federal City Road just past the 1-295 North on ramp and you’ll see a vacant property that used to be a landscaping business. It’s been empty for a couple of years now and has since become somewhat of an eyesore. According to stateinfoservices.com, 87 Federal City Road generated $30,302 in property taxes in 2016.

In the process of meeting affordable housing obligations required by the state, this property, known now as Woodmont, was identified as a potential site for affordable housing and subsequently the site was confirmed as eligible for “redevelopment.” To keep reading, please click this link.

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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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