The final public forum about the municipal tax increase referendum that will be put to voters on April 17 will be held this evening, Thursday, April 12, beginning at 7 p.m. in the community room of the Lawrence Township police station located at 2211 Lawrence Rd. (Route 206).
Township Manager Richard Krawczun will explain why the township is asking for voters permission to raise the municipal tax rate 9 cents above the state’s 2 percent tax levy cap and why a trash user fee will be assessed against residential property owners should the referendum be rejected by voters.
Following Krawczun’s formal presentation about the township’s financial situation, he and members of township council will answer questions from members of the public.
The tax increase vs. trash user fee was the main topic of discussion at the last township council meeting held on April 3. Several members of the public spoke at the meeting, peppering Krawczun and council members with questions.
(Audio of the entire meeting can be held by clicking on the appropriate files in the media box above.)
“Folks have a right to be angry about the 17 percent [municipal tax] increase, but please don’t shoot yourself in the foot by voting no on this referendum, because that’s exactly what you’re going to be doing if you take your anger out on this referendum…” Councilman Michael Powers said during the April 3 council meeting.
“This council has no appetite for the Draconian cuts that would be required [in place of the tax increase]. At prior council meetings, we talked about [how] you’d have to lay off police officers… That’s not going to happen,” Power said. “So let’s be very clear. What’ll happen [if the referendum is rejected] is residents will end up paying more for trash removal through the waste utility fee, just like their ELSA [Ewing-Lawrence Sewerage Authority] bill. And then, guess what, when April 15 rolls around and you have to pay your taxes, that portion [trash user fee] is not going to be deductable for IRS purposes. So you’d be shooting yourself in the foot to vote no on this referendum….”
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