Let me take you back to 2017. I was with several of my neighbors at a backyard barbeque when the discussion turned to property taxes. One of my neighbors said, “Don’t worry, it’s an election year and there’ll be no tax increase.” I replied that just to cover inflation taxes must go up 2 or 3 percent. No, my neighbor replied, Mayor Barberio and the council always find a way to jiggle the budget so that there’s no increase in election years. I asked how they can manipulate the budget, and my neighbor replied “they steal from the water and sewer utility.” I asked incredulously “steal”? My neighbor replied, “I guess the politically correct term is “transfer”, but it’s stealing from the future.”
Since then, I’ve done some research. In 2013, an election year, the total tax increase in Parsippany was just 0.2% but over a half-million dollars was transferred from the water and sewer utility. The next election year, 2017, we actually had a zero percent tax increase, but 3.2 million dollars was transferred from the water and sewer utility. Would it surprise you to know that over the last 10 years almost 18 million dollars was stolen – or “transferred”, whatever phrase you’d like to use – from the water and sewer utility? The vast majority of these dollars came under the administration of the former Mayor.
One of Mayor Soriano’s campaign promises in 2017 was no more transfers from the water and sewer authority, and in the current budget, he has kept his promise.
When you vote on November 2nd, remember that it’s Mayor Soriano who finally brought the Township’s finances into the real world. I’ll be supporting him this Election Day
Steve Mandel, QEP