Letters

Fair Tax

Oct 09, 2019

To the Editor:

On Election Day, once again, Beach Haven voters can restore our parks and improve public space by passing the Green Acres land preservation tax. New Jersey provides a matching grant of 50 percent to a town with a Green Acres tax when purchasing open space to utilize as public space.

For example, if the borough wanted to build a parking lot in the center of town, which would be good for business and give residents more space in front of their house during the busy summer months, the cost would be reduced by 50 percent. The open space would be permeable, thus reducing flooding while beautifying the town like a pocket park.

In addition, these funds would allow for improvement of our current parks, upgrading recreational facilities and providing landscaping for properties around town at a 50 percent savings.

The possibilities for the program are endless, including but not limited to creating more public access to the bayfront, beautification of Veterans Park, creation of more pocket parks in the business district, upgrade and upkeep of the parks we already maintain, and to place Beach Haven in a position to make real estate purchases that can be used to help solve our business employee housing shortage problem.

The program in Ocean County can also be used to preserve our historic sites. We supported this program in the past and continue to do so. It has been supported by the other municipalities and/or taxpayer associations of Long Beach Island including Barnegat Light, Harvey Cedars and Long Beach Township.

Why would a Beach Haven Taxpayers’ Association (BHTA) support a tax? It is quite simple. Most Beach Haven homeowners are seasonal and are not eligible to vote in local elections. Established in 1962, BHTA is a nonprofit “watchdog” to identify issues and to monitor the local governing bodies on behalf of all taxpayers. BHTA’s mission is to build a network of engaged taxpayers who care about the borough’s vitality and affordability. That would include all issues affecting our taxpayers including cultural, environmental and economic.

We are here to advocate for the betterment of the community. Of course, we advocate for keeping our taxes as low as possible, but we also advocate for issues that improve the borough, such as the building and beautification projects that are occurring and in planning in Beach Haven as we speak. We believe the Green Acres tax falls into this category.

Similar to other business revitalization and beautification initiatives that have occurred in Beach Haven, it accomplishes the following:

  • Protects and improves property values;
  • Makes the borough more attractive to visitors, thus creating recreational opportunities for visitors and residents and providing potential revenue sources;
  • Funds park maintenance and historical preservation projects.

The BHTA board unanimously supports this tax. The board feels it is fair, inexpensive and transparent, especially when spread over all taxpayers. Green Acres funds can’t be raised without voter approval and the money must be used for preservation projects. Due to the benefits of the tax, we encourage the borough to pursue tax savings to neutralize its impact, which will clearly be a win for all taxpayers.

John Hailperin, president

Beach Haven Taxpayers Assn.

 

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