In 2011, never-ending tax increases in Middle Township motivated Tim Donohue to run for Township Committee. Under Democrat control, from 2004 to 2011, the municipal levy more than doubled, rising 107% over eight years. Donohue ran on a promise of a zero tax increase. He campaigned to prove that, even in the most heavily-taxed state in America, a well-run town could find a way to be fiscally responsible and still deliver quality municipal services.
Under Republican leadership, that zero tax increase promise was kept, not for one year, but for five. From 2012 through 2016, Middle Township's levy remained flat, while Tim Donohue and Dan Lockwood found creative and innovative ways to improve municipal services.
The Democrat candidate for Township Committee says judge him on his record as an elected official in West Cape May. In five years as Mayor, Bob Jackson raised the municipal levy every year. A double-digit increase over five years. In that time, the average total property tax bill in West Cape May went up over 33% in five years.
At the end of Tim Donohue's first five years in office, the increase in the municipal levy was less than zero. The average total property tax bill rose 2.66% in those five years. The lowest increase, over that time period, of any Cape May County municipality.
So, let's take a quick look at what holding the line on taxes from 2012 to 2016 meant to Middle Township taxpayers. The GOP majority held the levy right around 12.3 million dollars for five straight years. If the levy had risen by just the state-mandated 2% cap over those five years, the 2016 levy would have been $13,959,925. Over that five years, by holding the line on taxes, the township had a cumulative savings of over 1.28 million dollars.
That's real money. Real money that was put into college funds or towards a down payment on a car, a house, or a business. Real money that helped seniors on fixed incomes pay their bills. Real money that went into 401Ks or was spent at local businesses.
Then, the Democrats retook control of Town Hall. After raising taxes over 5.6% in 2017, the Democrat majority patted themselves on the back for "only" increasing the levy by 2.55% in 2018. Middle Township saw its budget increase 1.1 million dollars over two years, and the municipal levy increase by nearly one million dollars over two years. An 8.15% increase in just two years.
The voters showed their displeasure with higher taxes in 2018. Ike Gandy's victory restored the GOP majority and guess what? The tax rate stayed flat in 2019 and 2020.
The Democrats track record on taxes is clear. The choice in this election is clear. A vote for the Democrat Candidate is a vote for a return to the failed tax and spend policies of the past. A vote for Bob Jackson is a vote for higher taxes.
Our town, our county, and our country face an uncertain economic future. The challenges for municipal government grow more daunting. Now more than ever, we need a Mayor with a proven track record of fiscal responsibility. We need a leader who will do the work to protect our families, seniors, and small businesses from ever-higher taxes. We need to reelect Mayor Tim Donohue.
Ordered and paid for by Donohue for Committee, 21 Acorn Lane, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210.