Repeal the Property Tax Increase in Irvington sign now

To the Members of the Irvington City Council

This petition calls for the Irvington City Council to rescind the 4\% increase in the property tax rate. We, the undersigned Irvington residents, property owners, and business owners pledge our opposition to a property tax increase and demand transparency in government.

Irvingtons effective property tax rate increased:

5\% from 2005 to 2006
8.3\% from 2006 to 2007, and
12\% from 2007 to 2008.

The average property tax bill for 2008 was $6,561, an increase of $1413 since 2005.

The Township of Irvington is presently operating without a budget. While the fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30th, the 2008-2009 budget was not adopted until April 2009, two months before it was due to expire. From July 1, 2008 to April 2009 our town was without a budget. Mayor Wayne Smith has not submitted a budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, yet he has requested another property tax increase.

By a vote of 6 to 1, the City Council has honored the Mayors request and has set a tax rate that is 4\% higher than the last fiscal year which ended on June 30, 2009, even though the city is operating without a budget.

Property taxes have increased substantially, but we have not seen an increase or improvement in services for our tax dollars.

The State Comptroller has conducted a performance audit of Irvingtons financial management practices and released its report on March 4, 2009. The report states:

Our audit of Irvington revealed a township whose financial management practices are in disarray. Internal controls in Irvington are inadequate. In compiling and presenting financial data, Irvington has not followed basic accounting practices or state regulations concerning those practices. Irvington is unable to accurately measure its financial position or effectively manage its fiscal operations.

The report included the following findings:

The Township has not produced a set of balanced books since the year 2000.
The general ledger is out of balance by $59.7 million.
There has been an unreconciled shortage of $2.6 million for several years.
Bills are chronically paid late.
Bank records do not agree with audited financial statements presented to the public.

The State Comptroller has made 21 recommendations to strengthen controls over Irvingtons operations in and is monitoring the situation.

There has been no explanation for the state of fiscal disarray, and no justification for the property tax increase. We, as Irvington residents, property owners, and business owners, have to fight against this property tax increase because it appears to be the result financial mismanagement. This is unacceptable. We pay enough property taxes as it is, so join with us in this campaign to rescind the property tax.

We have lost confidence with the current administrations ability to manage our township in a fiscally prudent manner. It is for these reasons that we hereby request the City Council to rescind the 4\% increase of the property tax rate until sound fiscal management practices have been restored, and a proposed budget has been approved.

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Tara CrossBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
Petition target:
Irvington, NJ Residents

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