(And it’s not something necessarily to be proud of.)
Probably some of you have heard the political observation that when you rob Peter to pay Paul you can always count on the support of Paul. Members of the current administration, including the mayor, may never have heard it but they sure know it. It’s better still when you can rob lots and lots of Peters for a very small amount each so none of these Peters ever even notice they’re being robbed. That most of them can’t vote here anyway makes it irresistible. That is what is going on with the beach utility.
The mayor has said that he wants to run Belmar like a business and I guess that makes us the stockholders. Suppose a business that has hundreds of thousands of regular customers added some small amount to everybody’s bill, say fifty cents or a dollar, and worded it in a way that sort of implied it was a tax for some public benefit. Now suppose that one or two of the stockholders looked into the company’s books and discovered that the extra revenue, which they had believed to be a tax, actually went right into the stockholders’ dividend checks. Many stockholders wouldn’t care one way or the other. Others would like it and would try to justify it some way or another and just hope the company doesn’t get in trouble for it.
But others would want the practice stopped, either out of principle or out of fear of being caught, or perhaps both.
You know I hate taxes as much as the next guy. Actually as a libertarian I probably hate taxes significantly more than the next guy. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to control taxes. Borrowing is a wrong way. So is robbing Peter.
IMHO the way to control taxes is to control spending and to make the most of the resources that are legitimately ours (such as the marina.)
BTW, Doherty isn’t philosophically opposed to taxes such as I am. We and everybody else in New Jersey and in the US are all fair game for federal and state taxes because then local officials like him can look good handing out our share of the goodies. He even wrote a letter supporting an increase in our gas tax. These taxes may be imposed by someone other than him but they have the exact same effect on our household balance sheets as property taxes do.
The beach utility lawsuit was scheduled to be heard this week but was moved to next week so our new municipal attorney, William Northgrave, would have time to prepare. I will be putting together a post in the next day or two that will look at what is being contested and what the approximate dollar amounts are.
I can tell you this though. I wouldn’t vote for that pavilion bond if I were you.
Poof…just like that several years worth of marina profits are gone.
He may be officially gone but the cost to us of his benefits and future lobbying work will be around for decades.