I've been hearing a lot from friends and neighbors who are Middletown residents over the past few days, it seems as though their new property tax bills are starting to show up in the mail box and they are not happy.
They are angry over the huge increase in the municipal tax rate that for many seems to be a 14% increase over last years bill.They are also angry at the deception that mayor Gerry Scharfenbegrer and those that are in the majority and have held power in Middletown for 3 generations are trying to pull over on them.
To continually insist to residents that their tax TOTAL bill only increased by 2.67%, while true, is extremely misleading and downright dishonest. It is nothing more than a ploy to distract the less sophisticated residents around town that live their lives in a bubble from questioning what is really happening. For those people who are living in the bubble and for those who are not take a good look at your tax bill and the letter that accompanied it.
As I stated, yes the overall TOTAL tax increase to OUR tax bill is 2.67% but the total tax bill (Municipal, Schools and County combined) has risen by a total 4.00%.
That's 2.67% for Middletown and 1.33% for school,county,open spaces, garbage.... Middletown's municipal tax increase makes up 2/3's of the total tax that is reflected in the tax bill.
You will notice that the letter of explanation that was enclosed with the tax bills does not state that a 13.99% increase in the municipal rate has occurred no matter how it is twisted, but it is clear to see that Middletown's increase is easily twice that of the school increase while the County and Garbage taxes declined.
The only thing included in the letter that was clear and honest was the table that divided up the total $.07 cents per $100 increase to the total tax rate which showed that Middletown's portion of that increase was $.048, which tells it all.
Do residents need any other reason to vote against Gerry Scharfenberger than this on Nov.2nd? I think not.
Byrnes and Mahoney will be getting our votes.