Well, it's that time of year again where the township, school district and county sit down to figure out how much more they can add to your property tax bills here in Downtown Edison via a tax levy for 2014. They call this thingie a Budget, which for most resident-taxpayers is based on the assessed value of your home - a non-revenue producing asset! But that's a thought for another day.
So, what's a budget? It's just a plan of how much your gonna spend and where you're gonna get the money to do it. And since no one has a crystal ball to predict the future, it's a best estimate based on what you know today and what you expect to happen in the future.
Just a thought but here's what you don't want to do; just take 2013 and add 2% to equal 2014, caps and all. Seems the mentality is if you come in under the cap, that's a good thing and they want you to believe they did a good job!
Blah..Blah..Blah to that thought process.
All that does is to exponentially perpetuate inefficient, discretionary, wasteful and unnecessary spending. Just make what you shouldn't have spent before - 2% more!?!
Take the Muni side of town - where the big focus and fight for the past few years has been over who kept the the tax rate flat - the Mayor or the Council. But nobody focused on what was in the budget (to increase or not) to begin with..they only focused on the changes.
Take the School side of town over there on Mythomania Lane. What can you say about this bunch?!? Here's a group that wants you to applaud the fact that they kept within the 2% Cap with their budgets - but failed to tell you how. Through greater efficiency, smarter and better use of taxpayer funds?? Nah - by hoarding all that taxpayer relief money and using it to increase $pending over the past few years. Last I looked, that was around $10 million in taxpayer relief money used to increase $chool $pending.
Hey, we got to be the only school district in the state that had an increase in state aid in our budget - when the state aid that actually was awarded was flat. And let's not even get into that on-going Staffing-Shell game with your taxpayer dollars.
Take the County side - don't know much about their budget except that with Charlie "I Abstain' Tomaro looking out for us here in Downtown Edison, it's not likely that he'll stand in the way of any tax increase coming our way.
Moral of this story - make them justify and support everything they've $pent in 2013 before you begin talking about 2014 and then start off 2014 with a Big Zero and build from there. If you do that, we'll all be getting a Big Property Tax Decrease - something we haven't seen in the town in a very long time.
Anyhoo, let the budget games begin - it's only your money they're $pending. Remember - numbers are only numbers unless you understand the substance behind them.
But hey, the Board of Mythomania did a good job staying under the 2% Cap - if you ignore the How!: