THEY ARE JUST GUESSING AT THE EFFECT OF THE TOD'S
WHERE THE MONEY GOES
What - they need to raise taxes again?
Didn't they just
raise the Fire Mills - and wasn't there a Sewer increase just
before that? Or was it after ?
And wait - Refuse has been the
same for a long time --- will that be going up next ?
next they want to raise Earned Income Taxes and a few other
Permit fees .. I just paid $355 for the code guy to
look up a name and file my paper. That's a tax!
I have a long, long list about where the money REALLY goes
what's below is just a tiny little smattering of things you
would not want to pay for if you knew they were being spent that
They moved what used to be in Code Enforcement and Land
Development out to separate permits and fees - which they
can raise whenever they want and not even tell us about it. Not
part of taxes any more...
Out came OPEB and Debt service and everything they could
get their hands on ....
YES - And here are a whole lot of things that
they aren't telling you about that have a lot more to do with
why they need more tax money .... It isn't because of the
assessments. Yes they've been going down - but they had just
experienced a huge peak - and they haven't come close to losing
all they gained . But there are a whole lot of other
things that you could point to....
They are giving
tax abatements to businesses,,,,,
They are doing
hardscape and tree plantings in front of businesses instead of
them paying for their own landscaping
They are putting
up little flags and signs to give the business areas a sense of
"place" - but at whose expense ?
They are doing
infrastructure projects- the Galman group, for instance,
had you take care of all of their flooding problems right before
they debuted their Jenkintown Flats project. YOU took care of
the Jenkintown Connections project. Extremely expensive
infrastructure/storm water project that Galman would have had to
do ----- Paid for by you. Thanks .
the mall owner, told us they were going to build
something new in front of Bloomingdale's, magically
someone decided that the entrance to the mall at Reservoir
Avenue needed updated traffic signals - very expensive.
Coincidence, I'm sure
How about all the signaling on the
Fairway that the new Redstone Apts should have taken care of --
nope they decided a lot of it was just "coincidentally"
needed anyway - and would be paid for by you.
sidewalks all around the mall got an update from HUD money.
We caught the former community development officer trying to
use HUD money to do an intersection plot plan amendment that was
supposed to be done by the mall as a condition of them first
being allowed to build there. Wow . It would have been paid for
by low to middle income funds for the mall owners - ( PS they
own 17 malls - not very low income , are they?)
to one Economic Development Committee meeting where a
developer was proposing how much tax revenue he was going to
bring in--- but before we left the room they had donated almost
that amount in grant money to other businesses.
watched them recently gift away our $ to a business whose much
needed repairs didn't look much better
after the repairs than before
- and since when is rewarded property owners who keep
their buildings blighted a good idea?
So it's a
bit of a myth to talk about all the money you're going to get
from commercial enterprises and why you should want them here.
They have their hand out all day long and they have a great deal
of influence. So no we don't want a great abundance of
commercial enterprise. We want the right commercial enterprise
that will bring nice restaurants and nice shops
else does the money go?
Don't forget we had Steven Kline and
Michael Clarke as the targets of a grand jury investigation for
their very bad behavior-for which they could have been charged -
and should have been from everything that I saw. Do you have any
idea how expensive that was and how much money that used
up? That was a residential and commercial complex with 2 huge
buildings in it that cost the county and the Township and the
taxpayers endless amounts of money because nobody wanted to hold
the slum landlords feet to the fire. So instead, the taxpayers
picked up the whole bill, including for all the lawsuits etc.
At the end of one of those years where that drama was still
raging, they held a giant meeting about your taxes and how
they were going to have to cut the police and the library
services unless they could raise the taxes. Now the Police and
the Library both have huge email lists of residents in the
Township. So they sent out the red alert that police and library
services were about to be cut please come to the meeting.
Stunningly, almost no one came to the meeting with any
knowledge of where the money in the budget was really being
spent --- like on all the lawsuits and the grand jury
investigations etc .......
so what resulted is we had a whole
room full of people that knew nothing about the budget but spent
the whole night saying please, raise my taxes , don't cut
our library services.
It is stunning to watch. And
stunning to watch John Spiegelman's fictional account of why we
need money in this Township.
Check back here and on another day, if I can find
the time I'll go through his line by line.
more businesses you have in the Township - the more commercial,
corporate voices you will have asking for handouts that benefit
them. And they have the big bucks to make their pleas quite
So yes we do want nice businesses in the
Township --- but nice
businesses ---- not just any old businesses. We don't need
another nail salon or Mexican restaurant or hi rise built up tot
he curb to remove our sky, clog our roads, and give us that
And we don't need to give away
the farm if we keep this Township nice. But Mr. Manfredi
is not spending any money on cleaning up the trash and the
blight. Instead he is spending his time with developers and
residents can't get a call or a meeting even when they are
trying to clean up what we are paying HIM to clean up.
Slum landlords are getting the royal treatment from the
Vacant Property Review Board , who, instead of citing them
and asking them to pay a fine for their bad behavior, has
been taking your money to make "a little real estate sales site"
on the GIS system to help them. Did you want to help
them with your dough? At one point they wanted to
host investor sessions like a little meet and greet in order to
match up investors with the blighted property owners - at your
expense. John Spiegelman had no problem asking your paid
personnel to do all these things so the code inspector didn't
have to do his job.
property owners would match themselves up pretty quickly with a
buyer if they started getting the fines that our laws allow
and if we started paying people to enforce the law rather than
paying people to reward those who are disrespecting our Township
and their neighbors . We didn't need a
Vacant Property Review Board - we needed some code enforcement
personnel that knew how to do their job and were directed by
John Spiegelman and Tom Hecker to do just that.
Manager doesn't answer questions for most people .. instead he
requires a Right to Know be submitted . Do you have any
idea the cost of those- They used to be handled quickly by a
secretary - now they all go through the legal firm. We all
pay more to get less information. And have to wait for it
. Not to worry - they 'll just raise taxes.
It's either going to be on your dime or on their dime. So far
the Township has chosen your dime and now is completing their
planned 30% tax increase on December 9, 2021 as they pass
the proposed 2022 budget with the last 22% of that increase.
It was planned at the end of 2019 - the whole 30% - so the
Pandemic had nothing to do with it . Watch how John Speigelman
carefully worded that in his saga.
This is just a tiny smattering
of the things that I have on my list of why we don't need more
taxes and why we need to have a Manager and Board Leadership
that have the will to penalize those causing the problems
instead of penalizing all the taxpayers. And we need to be
sure that they are very carefully choosing the kind of
commercial that we want. Not high rises - and not
thousands of new residents on our roads, in our schools from
their Mixed use areas. We like our suburbs and our
beautiful neighborhoods and that's why we moved here.
More commercial is a double edged sword. Yes, they
don't have kids in the schools and sometimes they can pay pretty
high taxes. But at other times they come with demands for things
that we don't want. They would all happily see us as dense as
possibly could be, so that they have more customers.
They don't want just one high-rise. They want high-rises
everywhere. Single-family homeowners
simply have different ideas about
what makes a good Township and both commercial and
residential large-scale corporate landlords.
The residents who live
here and vote here should be the ones deciding.
But it's hard for them to see through the fog, when you look at
the whole Spieglman narrative..... that has a few grains of
truth in it but colores those things quite differently than the
reality that we are facing. Greed is what has caused the
30% increase since Richard Manfredi's arrival.
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