What keeps me up at night? Read more about the issues here.
It's no secret. One of the reasons you live in Bedminster is for those deliciously low taxes. The Bedminster Township Committee manages the municipal line item on your annual tax bill, which comprises about 20% of your total real estate taxes.
The Township Committee's approach to creating the annual budget is simple - taxes are your money, and not ours to waste! That means eliminating unnecessary expenditures, identifying efficiencies, realizing costs savings opportunities through shared service arrangements, and prioritizing capital investments that provide residents the biggest bang for the buck. It's never easy and necessitates some tough choices, but in the end we live by the credo that low taxes are Job #1 in Bedminster.
"But wait! I'm not a taxpayer, I'm a renter. Does that mean I don't count?!" Not at all! Remember, your landlord is setting your monthly rent in part based on the annual taxes they pay to Bedminster. All things being equal, lower taxes for them should mean lower rent for you.
What's the bottom line? The average local tax bill1 in Bedminster, based on 2023 assessments, will be about $1,550, an increase of only $32.80 versus 2022. Year after year, Bedminster is recognized as having some of the lowest taxes in all of Somerset County. Running the township like a business allows us to always put taxpayers first.
1Local taxes are comprised of municipal taxes, local open space tax and library tax, but do not include county, county open space or school taxes.
It's no surprise this is an issue - it's the central theme of my campaign.
Having worked for and sold to companies in the Fortune 50, and later in my career opting to be on the ground floor of several start-ups, there's one thing I've noticed that companies both large and small often forget. Their customers.
Similarly, all too often government forgets who their customers are - you, the people. But we are fortunate here in Bedminster that our local elected officials hold themselves accountable only to the residents, as opposed to Trenton or a party boss.
We, as elected officials, should be responsive and accountable to our residents, and advocate on their behalf in situations where a single voice is insufficient, and the swing weight of government is required. That requires listening to our residents, their issues and concerns, and then acting where we have legal and legislative authority.
Making government work for you is my passion. Listening to your concerns - in person, on Facebook, via Nextdoor - and then figuring out how I can best address those needs is my promise to you.
Besides low taxes, there's another reason you choose to live here in Bedminster. Whether you can trace your roots here back to the American Revolution or just recently arrived, you probably love living in Bedminster because of its rural heritage and open spaces. Regardless of where you live in Bedminster, you can step outside your door and within a few minutes be in the bucolic countryside. It's what makes Bedminster unique, but also something we constantly need to fight to preserve.
The challenge of course is maintaining low taxes without bowing to overdevelopment. Remember, the local tax burden is shared by residents and businesses alike. A healthy local economy helps ease the load shouldered by our residents.
State imposed affordable housing mandates make this a challenge, and the threat of overdevelopment is constantly present. In the case of the latter, I have very publicly taken stands against developers looking to circumvent our zoning. Not only was I a constant presence at Land Use Board hearings prior to serving on the Township Committee, my feelings on this topic are well documented. You can read more about that here.
My belief is that any new development needs to be appropriately sized and scaled to our community. While times are (always) changing, we can grow with the times without sacrificing our heritage or the health of our local economy.