CAMDEN, N.J. – February 9, 2011 (WPVI) — Camden’s city council has to again start trying to figure out how to balance the city budget after rejecting a plan Tuesday that could have brought back about 60 laid-off police and firefighters but also would have raised property taxes 23 percent.
The city outside Philadelphia is among the nation’s poorest and most crime-ridden. It’s been in a fiscal crisis for decades, but it’s deepened as tax revenue has declined and the state has cut its aid.
Last month, the city laid off nearly 400 city employees, about one-fourth of all its workers. The cuts were deepest in the police department, which lost nearly half its officers, and the fire department, which lost one-third of its firefighters.
The 23 percent property tax increase that Mayor Dana Redd proposed would have been the first in the city in nearly a decade. The cost would have been about $160 per year for the average homeowner.
That was not an easy sell in a place where residents are fuming about how they’re already getting less for what they pay. There’s also upset over the city’s first property value reassessments in 18 years, which will result in higher taxes for some homeowners – and lower bills for others. LINK
Camden, New Jersey is a failed city. It’s been run exclusively by Democrats for as long as anyone around these parts can remember. Recently they decimated their police and fire departments because they have mismanaged their budget forever. Public safety, like national defense, is a frequent targets of cutbacks for liberal administrations. Democrats have been systematically destroying these departments (usually the most effective) across the country while at the same time propping up the failed, social welfare agencies they support. Areas like public housing and all manner of social services that are usually black holes of taxpayer dollars are getting big funding while the public safety infrastructure, much like the municipal infrastructure gets cut to the bone. Here in Philly for example, the Housing Authority (PHA) for example is in the middle of an enormous corruption scandal that will cost taxpayers millions. It’s par for the course.
Camden’s Mayor proposed tax increases (almost non-existent in Camden in half a generation) to help restore some of the desperately needed public safety personnel. But alas Camden residents in keeping with their “something for nothing” mentality have decided they don’t want to pay for them. They would much rather HAVE PHILLY FIREFIGHTERS RISK THEIR LIVES putting out Camden’s fires… YOU GUESSED IT… FOR FREE! While we are off fighting fires in Camden, the taxpayers of Philly will be minus the fire protection they pay for. Keep in mind Philly residents already pay 2% more in sales tax than the rest of Pennsylvania in part to pay for the services needed to keep this city running as safely as possible (no small task).
Yet come election day they will be re-electing Democrats in Camden, you can bet on it. Good luck with that, Camden.