Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 33
 
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
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Options Suggested for Property Owners Affected by Tax Increase, Revaluation

Dan Thompson
Dempsey Avenue

Debating the Debate: A Letter Questions Holt’s Willingness to Debate Sipprelle

Beverly T. Elston
Quarry Street


Options Suggested for Property Owners Affected by Tax Increase, Revaluation

To the Editor:

For those taxpayers who have had a sudden increase in their property taxes due to an increase in their valuation, there is action that you can take.

1: You can check your Property Data Record Sheet and request corrections — at least for 2011. You can obtain your Data Sheet from the Borough/Township Assessor’s Office.

2: If you did not appeal this year, you may still be able to appeal next year.

3: Neighborhoods as a whole may petition the assessor for a future redefinition of their neighborhood.

4: Legal Relief — assessments are supposed to be fair and equitable.

5: There may be an opportunity to seek legislative relief. The Extraction Method, the methodology employed for Princeton Township and Borough’s re-valuation, was provided by the State Assessor’s Manual. Perhaps the method needs to be changed or an alternative method should have been used that would have been fairer to those with small lots.

Princeton is a very special place — for a lot of reasons. No one doubts that. No one doubts that properties have to be periodically reassessed. Few doubt that Princeton University needs to pay more as its fair share. However, assessments, like all other governmental transactions, must be fair and must be transparent. At this point we are all learning about the methodology. Many in my neighborhood, for instance, have questions about how the “site values” were established for each “neighborhood.”

Dan Thompson
Dempsey Avenue

Debating the Debate: A Letter Questions Holt’s Willingness to Debate Sipprelle

To the Editor:

Scott Sipprelle, the Republican candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 12th District has repeatedly challenged Rush Holt, the incumbent, to debate the serious issues currently facing our nation, but Holt has refused to respond. Why, I ask, does Holt refuse?

If we want to live in a democracy, we must preserve our freedoms. If we want to preserve our freedoms, we must be informed on the issues. Being informed on the issues require that we become acquainted with alternative points of view. In a democratic society there must be public debate between those who would lead us.

So why does Rush Holt refuse to debate? What does he fear? You decide.

Beverly T. Elston
Quarry Street

Editor’s Note: According to Chris Donnelly, the spokesman for the Holt campaign, Holt “will absolutely be participating in debates as he has in every election. We have had discussions with the Sipprelle campaign regarding the timing, sponsors, and format, and we continue to work with them to finalize those items.”

According to Sipprelle Campaign Manager Travis Linderman, “They have not given us a date. We have been requesting it and trying to work [with] them, but we are still waiting for them. We are looking forward to having multiple debates.”

For information on how to submit Letters to the Editor, click here.

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