‘Taxation With Misrepresentation’
Yesterday the Packet had an article, Community’s Compromise: Arts Council neighbors offer scaled-back plan. The requests from the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association include “reducing the expansion by at least 25%, and maintaining existing setbacks”. Today’s Town Topics, in the article Bunn Drive Senior Housing Is Explored, states that “The housing would be, in part, a move to halt the trend toward a shrinking senior community” in The Principality. “Many seniors are no longer able to live in town due to high property taxes“. Still, seniors that purchase those apartments would be paying taxes for one-bedroom apartments that cost $300,000+.
The shrinking senior community is behaving in an economically rational way: seniors move away because the taxes and the rate of tax increases make it prohibitive to live here. The neighbors from the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association are trying to make their voices heard. These are issues of representation. A letter to the editor Proposed Tax Increase in Borough: ‘Taxation With Misrepresentation’? links “the tax increase to the undemocratic and uneconomic downtown project rammed through by the Council”, and proposes that voters be allowed referendum, initiative, and recall,
“Under these powers we could veto an enacted tax ordinance, such as the one proposed by the Council, or limit tax increases to the inflation rate, or require the Council to submit any tax increase by the voters. Under these powers we could remove an official who said we could have a referendum on the redevelopment bond when the official had used a redevelopment designation to remove our right of referendum.”
The council members of both Borough and the Township have felt that, as representatives of the voters, they could do what they best pleased with ever-increasing spending because they had a “mandate” merely from being elected. One can only speculate whether they could handle real representation.