Raising Taxes Won’t Improve Main Street


In this past Sunday’s edition of the Suburban Trends, Butler, N.J., residents have been complaining about the declining condition of Main Street.  Some merchants have suggested forming an Economic Development Condition (EDC),  while the article quoted Borough Administrator Jim Lampmann taking issue with the complaints about garbage piling up the street, saying the Department of Public Works is on the job every day, trying to keep up appearances.


The declining economy and day laborers have not helped downtown Butler’s image.  Neither has the competition from highway stores.  Lampmann boasted of Butler’s status as a Morris County town, meaning that it did not have to tax its property owners to support blighted cities the way Passaic County towns like Pompton Lakes have done, in addition to using the taxes to perform aesthetic improvements.


Despite the improvements, Pompton Lakes is still losing downtown businesses, and remaining businesses in the town must take up the tax slack.


As for Butler, it’s taken a long time for the borough council to notice that its downtown area has a problem.  As far back as the early 1990s, with an influx of mainly Mexican immigrants, downtown Butler was an unsafe place to roam at night.  Residents could not make a drop at the Main Street mailbox for the loiterers hanging out outside the bar next door.  They loitered in a number of streets around Butler, and at late hours, it could hardly be assumed that they were “day-laborers” in search of work.


Raising taxes will only drive more small businesses out of downtown Butler.  Increasing the police presence will help residents feel safer, but that will almost certainly mean a tax increase for property and business owners. 


We need to support a pro-business economic policy in our country, secure our borders against illegal aliens, and make it less feasible for businesses to hire them.  We must also oppose the President’s plan to wipe out the suburbs by forcing towns to increase their minority, and in particular, low-income populations.  Our town councils and zoning boards must stop taking the bait of federal money for allowing high-density housing.  High-density housing brings high-density populations and high-density problems like garbage, crime, and drug use.


In Pompton Lakes, there’s a small park past the Pompton Falls on the other side of the Hamburg Turnpike on Riverview Road.  It was once a nice little park, but urban blight befell it.  Or perhaps it was Hurricane Sandy.  But the picnic table that was once there, with a view of the falls, now lies in a heap in a gully, with only one bench left.  The stone banks above the Ramapo River are regularly filled with soda cans, liquor bottles, and candy wrappers (a certain sign of drug use).  Sloan Park in Bloomingdale has been usable since the storm wrecked the bridge.  Butler Park’s gazebo is locked up, no longer usable by the public.


Butler’s problems won’t be solved with a president in office who has an agenda to destroy the suburbs, force residents into high density housing, and spread urban blight across the landscape.  But residents can help themselves by helping to pick up the litter wherever they see it, rather than just stepping over it.  If Butler residents want their nice little town back, they’re going to have to fight the bureaucracy for it, pay more attention at zoning meetings, and vote for representatives who really have their best interests at heart.


Published in: on September 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

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