What I found most disturbing regarding the Borough’s proposed ordinance to raise taxes on some resident seniors was their lack of justification for increasing the taxation for this group. Sure, many seniors can afford to pay more, but why should they be targeted for tax increases?
Seniors benefit our borough. Local seniors contribute to borough sales tax revenue. All local residents benefit, not only by their presence and the life experience that they share with us, but by the economic benefits that we all gain when they spend their money in the borough.
In the past, our Borough Assembly supported an unlimited property tax exemption for our seniors. This enlightened act retained many seniors and attracted many more. I find it disturbing when our current local politicians now find taxing local seniors the most attractive alternative for balancing their budget.
Statistics show a growing senior population here. I believe that’s good for our community.
Mayor Navarre introduced the ordinance and Assembly members Bill Smith, Brent Johnson, Hal Smalley and Mako Haggarty voted to reduce seniors’ exemptions. The good news is there were five Assembly members that voted to preserve them. Our borough should consider the benefits of providing tax relief for seniors.
If the Borough Assembly wants to fix something, then let the people vote to restore the unlimited property tax exemption for all local seniors. We should go back to the day that we welcomed seniors and should encourage people to retire in our community.
I believe this change would be in our best interests.