Sunday, November 10, 2013

Galloway's New Bond Ordinance for Tax Appeals Guaranteed to Raise Tax Rate for Next Three Years

Kevin Krumaker - Facebook
In October 2013 Galloway Council authorized the borrowing of as much as $1.58 million for tax-appeal refunds. On November 5th - Election Night – the township website announced the intent to borrow an additional $2.14 million to cover more appeals. 

Interestingly, the Galloway Township manager performed the calculations just in time for that information to be released to the public on Election Night!  Obviously this borrowing that will increase the township debt was withheld from the public because it would have impacted negatively on the current administration and affected the voting on November 5th.

The opportunity to pay tax appeal settlements with bonds rather than out of the operating budget happens because the Council faces a budget that exceeds the state-mandated cap. The budget shortfall can be explained in part due to the flat funding of state aid, a lack of surplus and failure on the part of Council to act in a timely manner to falling home values.

The Governor provided municipalities a way to circumvent his own “Tax cap” law by signing a law which states the following:

“Any municipality that has ended the previous budget year with a deficit in operations caused, whether in whole or in part, by obligations created from tax appeals, may issue notes with the approval of the Local Finance Board on such conditions as the Local Finance Board deems appropriate. The amount of notes authorized pursuant to this provision shall not exceed the cash payments or tax credits due to tax appeals and shall be authorized by a bond ordinance approved by the Local Finance Board.”

This means that Townships, like Galloway, will be allowed to finance operating expenses through the “back door”. Think of it as paying your electric bill with a home equity loan. Does anyone think this is a good idea or fiscally sound?

Letter to the Editor by Kevin Krumaker


Anonymous said...

Do you have any solutions besides whining and crying and whining and crying?

Anonymous said...

This is common practice. AC has done it for several years. What's your solution cut more? So if your group won you basically would cut more needed services. Glad I voted the way I did. The reassment kicks in next year. I think that will end the tax appeal issue. So there is an end coming most voters can see past the rhetoric that's why the election went this way.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know why they waiting till election night to tell the public the tax rate is going up because the administration is inept to handle the tax appeals. This is standard kicking the can down the road by financing your current bills. Galloway was suppose to be on a cash basis and all this does is throw more debt on the fire.

Anonymous said...

How and when will appeal refunds be given ? from past appeals

Anonymous said...

Wait and see how new mayor Brian Tyrrell will handle this situation. Will he raise the taxes or vote against his Republican colleagues for the right choice for the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Once the tax appeal refund taxpayer property addresses are provided, more people will be standing on-line for more tax appeals this year. The tax assessing company's fees should be reduced because of these mistakes - perhaps sued. Additionally, I wonder if the tax assessing companies carry Professional Liability Insurance or Errors and Omissions Insurance. I would sue the tax-rate-setting company for the error and fire the Galloway Tax Assessor for simply rubber-stamping the increases. The Tax Assessor should have suspected that some of the assessments are out of range. I would also check the political ones (big contributors, officeholders, 'the connected') and look for generous but not too obvious, tax treatment.

vtpat said...

LOL no rainy day fund? I thought it was to be run like a business. Any word on the police pension bubble yet?

Anonymous said...

At least this money stays locally. My taxes may go up about the price of a tank of gas but it goes to local services and refunds to my neighbors. I'm more concerned about paying 28% federal taxes and the money being shipped over seas. Yes the tax assessor should be fired even by 2009 standards my house was too high. My reassement is much better.

Anonymous said...

It's very easy for people to sit back and point out the problems. What I would like to see are possible solutions to this problem. So maybe Krumaker can add this to his blog and state solutions to this issue. Sound reasonable?

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