LTE: Just the facts on Hopewell Township taxes

HVRSD final budget presentation slide

The Hopewell Township Committee has reduced property taxes by attracting new businesses to move to the Township. How ironic that political opponents of the current Committee provided vague innuendo to suggest that fact is a “misrepresentation.” So let’s objectively explore reality by using just the facts from non-partisan sources replete with pictures to keep it simple.

As we know, school taxes make up the lion’s share of our property taxes. Since we live in a regional school district, they collect taxes from three municipalities, Hopewell Township and Pennington and Hopewell Boroughs. The official HVRSD Final Budget Presentation slide shown above indicates that Hopewell Township’s school tax went down 7 cents (per $100 of assessed value) while both Boroughs’ taxes only changed by only one penny. 

Bill Herbert, Chair HVRSD Finance Committee, explained why the Township’s tax rate change was seven times the size of the Boroughs’ change. He expounded that the difference was due to an increase in Hopewell Township Commercial ratables. Translated to laymen’s terms, this means that when the Township Committee attracted new commercial businesses, those new businesses increased the size of the base that the school tax burden was spread across and thus reduced our residential tax. 

This Township tax assessor slide affirms the school district’s data by showing the school tax reduction with a more precise 6.7 cents (.067). You will notice no other portion of our property tax made a relevant contribution to the total. Therefore, the school tax change, which resulted from new businesses attracted, is responsible for the total tax reduction.

Township Tax Assessor slide

While reviewing budget information can sometimes seem complex, this could not be simpler — no matter how many times political opponents try to confuse the voters. 

In summary, Hopewell Township experienced a tax decrease due to the Township committee’s ability to attract new revenue sources. Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning and running mate, Committee member David Chait should be encouraged to continue on the same path.

Lisa Wolff, Hopewell Township

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