To the Editor:
As I read about that our predominately empty-nester new neighbors at the LumberYard enjoy, some questions arise. The bargains—thanks to the down market and municipal largesse—they secured in the purchase price of their homes plus the incredible incentive of a 50 percent tax abatement that they currently enjoy courtesy of the Collingswood taxpayers, have a cost.
As I have told one of the families mentioned—whom I have known for some time—it is the financials of the LumberYard that are its downfall. All the other taxpayers in town pay more in municipal taxes to service the $15.05 million debt ($6 million more is on the way) to subsidize the construction of market-rate homes. Should the many subsidize the few?
Of the $450,000 in taxes paid by properties at the project this year, not one dollar goes to the schools. Is it fair that other taxpayers pay more in school taxes to make up that shortfall?
These are reasonable questions to ask of a project that by any metric is wildly over-budget and four years behind schedule. If this is considered stone throwing from the sidelines, could someone please explain how then—with a municipal government that lacks the fabled checks and balances that are the hallmark of our national republic and but one election every four year—is local government held transparent and accountable for its actions by its citizens?
Continuing to sing "Kumbaya" obfuscates the seriousness of our elected government's poor decisions.
Want to share your opinion on Collingswood issues? Send a letter to the editor to Associate Regional Editor Lauren Burgoon, firstname.lastname@example.org.