Bill Whelan, a certified member of the liberal elite recommends a tax increase on the hard working families in the poorest county in the state. Don’t look towards this highly paid banker for relief. This year was going to be a difficult year, budget-wise, for the county. The Freeholders knew that going in.Now I am not a knee-jerk reactionary when it comes to tax increases. However, with the bleak economic situation facing Cumberland County families, the very last resort should be any further burden on the already over-stressed families.
The county started 2012 with $8,521,743 million in surplus.The scenarios consider three tax increase options: no increase in the tax levy, which now is about $83 million; a 0.5 percent increase; and a 1 percent increase. One percent on the tax levy represents about $840,000.
The Freeholder meeting yielded no consensus one ay or the other concerning an increase. But consider this; housing sales have plummeted from an all-time high average sale price of $190,000 in 2007 to an average of $140,000 currently. House values have doubled since 2000 to $178,600. The median household income is $48,958, much lower than the state average of $68,342.
We are #20 on the list of “Top 101 counties with the highest number of infant deaths per 1000 residents 2000-2003 (pop. 50,000+)” We are #48 on the list of “Top 101 counties with the largest increase in the number of infant deaths per 1000 residents 1990-1999 to 2000-2003 (pop. 50,000+)”
Sheppard said he’s uncomfortable asking for a tax increase. Residents have been told the sale of the nursing home would offer some tax relief, he said.Freeholder William Whelan said he favors a tax rate increase of a half-penny to 1 penny. A penny equals $931,000.
It is easy for the liberal elite to nonchalantly claim we need to increase taxes, after all, they earn significantly more than the $49,000 a year per household. The elite can easily afford to pay a little extra in property taxes. The working class and unemployed (because the county has a less than stellar record for attracting higher paying jobs) can ill afford even a nominal drain on their already beleaguered budgets.
Carl Kirstein had better beware, he is already admitting defeat by talking about a 1/2% increase. Any talk of an increase seals the fate of the Republicans, as it proves that they may be a different party, but are the same old, tired politicians that this county has endured for decades.