Dear Community Friends,
There’s been some recent chatter on social media about property taxes, and certain residents who were adversely impacted by some fairly high property tax increases.
I cannot reiterate this enough. Our municipal budget makes-up only 20% of your overall property tax bill. The Mantua School District is 30% of your overall tax bill; the Clearview Regional School District is 23% of your overall tax bill; county services is 23% of your overall tax bill; the Mantua Fire District is 3% of your overall tax bill and Open Space is 1% of your overall tax bill.
Our township committee only controls the municipal budget’s 20%, and we have no involvement with the tax impact (good or bad) relating to the other 80% collected. In 2021 and 2022 the township committee did not raise municipal taxes at all (we kept things flat at the local level – the only 20% we control). This year we had a very minimal increase in order to pay our bills. There was no fluff in this year’s municipal budget, and this will stay true for 2024. To sum things up, the township committee has acted responsibly and has done nothing to create a spike to property taxes in our community.
If you were unfavorably impacted by a tax hike this year, it is most certainly the result of the recent property reassessments. This was state mandated, and high housing market values contributed to increased property values in certain cases. Keep in mind, the general rule of thumb is that one-third of residents see an increase, one-third of residents see a decrease and one-third of residents see no change in their assessed values, and similarly with property taxes as a result of the revaluation process. It’s done to level the playing field community wide.
You must contact the Gloucester County Tax Assessors Office (GCTAO) who handled this process. This was not done at the municipal level and we have no involvement with this process, therefore, any tax appeals should be filed from Nov. 15, 2023 to Jan. 15, 2024 by contacting Deputy County Assessor Robin Hague at (856) 307-6445 or firstname.lastname@example.org at the GCTAO. She has been very helpful, and will gladly continue to assist our residents with questions and/or the appeal process, etc.
At our last senior dinner, it was brought to my attention that some senior citizens in our community do not receive the printed version of the Mantua Sun newspaper at their residence. I had the opportunity to meet with NMG (Newspaper Media Group) Publisher, Amanda Phillips and VP of Sales, Arlene Reyes this past week to discuss this issue. It was explained that the Mantua Sun is only delivered by the USPS to specific mailing routes, and unfortunately, it’s not mailed to every home in our community (especially in the Sewell section of the township).
We did discuss other options for those who don’t receive the printed version. It was agreed to have the newspaper available at our township administration building beginning this week (for free), and at select businesses (for free) throughout the township in the very near future. There is also a subscription option, where residents can pay a subscription fee to have the paper delivered directly to their home – if they don’t already receive it due to the USPS routing issues. You can contact the NMG at (609) 924-3244 or at https://thesunpapers.com/print-subscription/ to subscribe. Of course, the paper can also be viewed on the Mantua Sun Facebook page or on their website at https://thesunpapers.com/c/mantua-news/. Amanda and Arlene were very receptive to making this hometown newspaper more accessible to the community’s readership.
This is certainly not an endorsement of NMG. It’s simply providing our residents with other options to obtain the only local newspaper that serves Mantua Township, and providing them with another source for local news covered in our community. I hope this information is useful.
Mayor’s Message Volume #15 features resident and farm owner, Tara Iannacone of “Hidden Hill Farm.” Tara discusses her love for the farm, her animals and what she has planned for the upcoming holidays. Look for this video over the next few weeks on our social media platforms and on our township website at mantuatownship.com.
On Wednesday, Nov. 29, I attended the Gloucester County Mayor’s Association Dinner and Meeting at Italian Affair in Glassboro. It was another nice evening of networking with fellow mayors in a non partisan environment where we work cohesively for the betterment of all our communities. The highlight for the night was being elected by the body as the new President of the G.C. Mayors Association. At our December meeting, I’ll be sworn-in to represent Mantua Township as the association’s new president. I’d like to congratulate Mayor Carolyn King-Sammons of Elk Township for being elected VP; Mayor Greg Wolfe of Monroe Township for being elected 2nd VP; and Mayor Jessica Schwartz Doheny of Wenonah for being elected as the new Treasurer.
Upcoming Township Meetings and Events:
- Bulk Trash Week is Monday, Dec. 4 through Friday, Dec. 8 during your normal trash removal day.
- Thursday, Dec. at 7 p.m. is the next Historical Commission meeting to be held at the Historical Museum.
- Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. is the next Fire District meeting to be held at the Sewell Fire Station.
- Sunday, Dec. 10 at 11:59 p.m. – Deadline to sign-up for “Deck The House,” our first ever holiday house decorating / lighting contest on our website at mantuatownship.com.
- Our township committee meeting, and our last meeting for this year has been rescheduled for Monday, Dec. 18 at 4:00 p.m.
Hanukkah begins on Thursday, Dec. 7. We want to wish everyone who celebrates Chag Sameach or Happy Holidays.
On behalf of Deputy Mayor Pete Scirrotto, myself, and the entire township committee – we look forward to continuing our service with honesty, integrity and trustful leadership.
Mayor Robert T. Zimmerman, MAS