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More Local Goverment Than We Need

Why Large Local Government Hurts Me and My Family.

I am trying to sell my home: For reason part about theology and the need to be close enough to a synagogue to walk as a good Jew should and in part because I need to down size my home.  My tax bill is $2,000 a month ($24,000 a year) on a 4 bed room home on 1/4 acre in Rock Springs. Move to Redwood to something smaller and $1,500 a month in taxes is high but some what better.  This begs the question why are taxes in West Orange so high?  Partly because our zoning laws historically has kept good property tax paying business out leaving the brunt of governments cost on home owners and mostly because the government is bigger than it needs to be.

We need to fund schools, roads, public safety, and sanitation and certain other need governmental functions.  How much government do we need? That is the real issue.

Locally West Orange supports three local government entities: The West Orange Board of Education, The Township of West Orange, and part of the County of Essex.

As for the Board of Education: We don't need to spend $21,300 per student.  Our schools don't need as much administration as we have.  We did not need to bond to have three artificial turf fields and sports facilities that are better than certain universities. Our teacher and other employee of the school board do need to be paid but the benefits cost put on the taxpayers are unreasonable. We over pay for text books and over pay for consultants. This is about 60% of your tax dollars.  I think we could shrink this without harming educational quality.  We need to refocus on basics in eduction and focus less on the outside the classroom stuff.

The township will spend well over $70,000,000.00 for about 46,000 people. We need to look at the generous employee benefits. We over spend on administration and I don't think we are managing litigation and its related costs as well a we should.  The land use policy particularity with the down-town redevelopment will only make this worse.

The county spend over $750,000,000.00 a year for about 750,000 people. We over pay for roads, zoos, golf course, jails, and a Sheriff office that is not as coordinated with the 22 municipal police force as it should.  The welfare department is inefficient and has no real plan to bring people out of poverty. It only maintains things as is with no forward thinking.

We need government just less of it and smarter government.  Then my taxes and yours will be less. 

The house I live in now costs me $699,000 in 2004 I added $50,000 in a finished basement and a patio.  So I have about $750,000 in this home.  It is listed now at $599,000.00.  At least part of this drop in value I view as related to the property tax issues. I know this because I have literally seen potential buyers look at my home indicate they like the house and look at the taxes and move on. The house value is down but the taxes are up.  Large government hurts.

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Jim July 04, 2012 at 12:04 PM
So your plan is to lose $200k to save $500 a month? I must say that is the kind of fiscal leadership we need in West Orange. Yessiree.
Adam Kraemer July 04, 2012 at 01:30 PM
@ Portamanteau: Theology has a roll here. My family has a theological requirement to be able to walk to a temple every Saturday and every major Jewish holiday. I can't do that from the Rock Spring - St Cloud area so it if off to Pleasantdale or Redwood. Goverment policy in regards to local taxation put an economic hurt on a theological choice in this case.
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