The Tax Question

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Published: July 22, 2011 @ 8:00 AM EDT
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As a candidate, you get hear a lot of questions from residents and neighbors. After answering the common question, “Why did you run?” I almost always hear universal concerns regarding taxes.

To ensure there is no confusion, I explain that the municipality (the Borough of Roselle Park) receives approximately one-third of each tax dollar paid. The balance of each dollar goes unequally to the Roselle Park School District, County of Union, and the UC Open Space fund.

But what happens to the one-third dollar amount that the Borough receives? These dollars go toward municipal salaries and wages as well as utilities and services provided to the public by the Borough and/or its departments.

When budget time arrives seemingly simple issues like bulk pickup, July 4th fireworks, and the celebration of various public events become big issues. These are the times the words “return on investment” come into play. Everyone wants a return on their investment – and rightfully so.

I believe that as a long term practice, the Borough needs to ensure that departments work together and engage in planning. If we do things right the first time the likelihood is that we won’t face the same costly issues year after year, or in some cases, month after month. With a sound infrastructure the Borough can build on what it already has… but the key is to ensure that we effectively use the resources that we already have. Proper planning saves the Borough money and keeps money in the pockets of every taxpayer.

As a candidate, I can’t promise many things. However, I believe that the best ideas, especially when it comes to the efficient use of tax dollars, come from residents. Therefore the one promise that I can make is that I am completely and singularly beholden to the people of my ward. Let me be clear… no matter who you are, as long as you are a resident of the Borough of Roselle Park, you are a stakeholder. Your voice matters.

-Andrew J. Casais