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Bergen County Democrats first Order of Business Raise Taxes

January 6th 2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Hackensack NJ, on Wednesday, the three Bergen County freeholders elected in November were sworn into office. Turning Bergen into the bluest of counties and making all county officials in Bergen, Democrats.

The annual reorganization meeting, Freeholders Mary J. Amoroso, Germaine M. Ortiz, and Thomas J. Sullivan were sworn in for their first full three-year terms. Freeholder Tracy Silna Zur–now entering her fifth year as freeholder–was elected as board chairwoman and Sullivan was selected as vice-chair.

The Democrats remained true to form and immediately began by raising what promises to be the first of many tax increases, the open-space tax.

The move increases the open-space tax back to 1 cent per $100 of assessed valuation, which is expected to bring in $12 million more annually for a popular program that had seen its funding cut by 75 percent in recent years.

While many embrace the idea of open space, the devil is as always in the details.Money is often used by the politicly connected for ball fields ie turf and to warehouse space, creating buffer zones for wealthy enclaves and keeping prime real-estate off the market so less desirable projects can not be built.