It is appalling that Dr. Sherry Grate states that she did not know exactly why 19 percent of the voters voted “no” to the referendum, but in her next statement she asserts that she does know the reason, in a very misleading and condescending manner. It is not that “they weren’t necessarily completely informed or needed more information.” Rather, it was for the reason given in her next statement that those voting “no” were opposed to unnecessary tax increases.
As I have written to Current before, it is absurd and insulting to the taxpayers that the supporters of this referendum extension tout that it is a tax decrease because it is now $0.03 per $100 valuation less than the original referendum of $0.23 per $100 valuation. No matter how it is spun by whom, this is still a tax increase above the base rate of $0.20 per $100 valuation.
Years ago, when the original referendum was proposed, it was sold as a temporary funding measure that would end after a seven-year period. Obviously, the taxpayers were duped.
Those who voted against this tax increase may just be hard-working citizens who toil in the private sector employed by companies and enterprises that do not have the luxury of having referendums to aid their balance sheets as do the public schools. They also may feel that the schools need to live within their means as the taxpayers have to do even after they pay their taxes. One look at the majestic Westfield schools drives that point. The election is over and the referendum extension has passed; the deeper digging into the pockets of all township property owners will continue.
There is no need to give false rationalization as to why those against this tax increase voted “no.” They simply did for the reasons given above.