Bypassing tax cap would cause hardship

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To the editor:

Public works and public safety professionals in Ventnor did an outstanding job dealing with the hurricane issues, and I am deeply grateful for their dedication to the well-being of our residents. I hope our elected officials will do the same as they attempt to deal with the costs of repairing the damage left behind by the storm.

Gov. Christie recently told municipalities that they could use waivers to pass the costs of storm damage on to taxpayers, bypassing the 2 percent cap on property tax increases. That would cause even more hardship to property owners who are already struggling to repair their homes. Ventnor has remained well within the cap for the past four years while still managing to accommodate massive infrastructure repairs. There is no reason why that record cannot continue.

The city's negotiations with its unions, for instance, should favor the taxpayers, not the unions who have had consistently above-average increases for many years. We should expect our elected officials to represent the residents with the absolute resolve not to punish homeowners with a secondary storm hit of increased taxes.

We should also encourage our state legislators to act to block all storm-damaged communities from using waivers to bypass the cap.

I hope Ventnor residents will attend commission meetings to express themselves on this important issue.

Lila Sirota


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