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Why Do We Pay More for Local Government?

Is it worth the cost?

A new study claims that New Jersey residents pay almost $700 per year more for government services than do the residents of Pennsylvania or Connecticut, because the state has so many inefficient local governments. But attempts to consolidate local governments and services have rarely been successful.

We'd like to know: Why not? Should we be combining towns? At least some services? What is it about a small local government that you like? Take our poll and tell us in the comments what you think.

We're sharing this post across Patch sites in Morris, Somerset and Sussex Counties. So tell us in the comments what town you're from, and what your local officials should be doing about shared services, combined departments ... even combined government, if that's what seems best.

And if your town were to merge with a neighboring town, what would be your preference?

Click here to read the study.

Dan Grant October 14, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Since Morris County has a strong number of local Governments and school boards controlled by Republicans what exactly are you talking about Max?
Roll Back Our Tax October 15, 2011 at 03:01 PM
I waited to respond to see what the poll suggests. I just voted and the consensus was clear (see below). "I don't. I'd be happy to consolidate". I guess this should be sending a message to the Mayor of Hopatcong. Our taxes keep going up 5-6% a year even though the state mandates a cap of 2% to follow. They keep finding ways to get around it. Most of our $ goes towards salaries, benefits (that keep rising) and pensions. This year a state of emergency with Hurricane Irene was declared. Believe it our not...this is one of the reasons MOST municipalities will use to raising taxes over the cap of 2% because it is an "exception" to the law. Instead of protesting on Wall Street we should be protesting at the Council meetings for the lack of services. I predict next year the public sector will take the big hit with lay-offs. By then every public employee will wish they had their 20 years in for retirement because the system will be broke and the federal government will be picking up the tab AGAIN! 13 (6%) I think having our own local government strengthens us as a community. 62 (32%) In a consolidated government, I would have to drive too far for public meetings or to obtain services. 1 (0%) I have a friend or relative who works for our local government and consolidation might cost him or her a job. 1 (0%) I don't. I'd be happy to consolidate. 115 (59%) Total votes: 192
Dan Grant October 15, 2011 at 05:16 PM
32 percent think it strengthens the community. My guess would be that those are the people who either serve or appreciate volunteer services like Fire and EMS. The 59 percent who say they would be happy to consolidate may not feel the same way if we lose that volunteer base and have to pay for those services. Consolidation sounds like a good idea until you realize it could well devalue the community you live in. It is actually an old idea that didn't work and is one of the reasons we have so many independent Towns.
Roll Back Our Tax October 15, 2011 at 06:51 PM
The politicians we elected be it Democrat or Republican have sold our jobs to overseas countries. http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/free-trade-or-fair-trade-20-reasons-why-all-americans-should-be-against-the-insane-trade-policies-of-the-globalists The truth is that there is a vast difference between "free trade" and "fair trade", and in this article it spells it out. The United States has dozens of trading relationships that are highly destructive to the U.S. economy. Our public sector leaders whether it be governors, mayors or Congress or House are selling us out. While millions of Americans are losing their jobs, federal employees (plus state & local I may add) making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession's first 18 months — and that's before overtime pay and bonuses are counted. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-12-10-federal-pay-salaries_N.htm While the compensation gap between the new elite class of public vs private worker has widened and we as taxpayers continue to work for less and less every year. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-03-01-1Apublicworkers01_ST_N.htm The sad part is this sector produces no goods or services that adds value to the country's wealth. All it does is destroy wealth and add to our nation's deficit which stands close to a record $15 TRILLION! http://www.usdebtclock.org/ Only a matter of time to an economic collapse
Roll Back Our Tax October 16, 2011 at 12:28 PM
I know one thing. When the economy tanks...one area that will be employing more public workers is the judicial branch as correctional officers. http://www.ehow.com/about_6523231_salaries-corrections-officer.html California was the highest-paying state for correctional officers and jailers in 2008, the BLS reported, with an average annual wage of $63,230, or $30.40 per hour. New Jersey was second as the only other state with an average annual wage above $60,000, at $62,240, which works out to $29.92 per hour. Massachusetts and Nevada were third and fourth, with average annual salaries of $54,850 and $54,820, respectively, while New York was fifth with an average annual salary of $53,530. Crime rate always goes up when people become desperate and look for alternatives besides food stamps to putting food on the table. http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/29SNAPcurrPP.htm It is hard to believe what is happening to America. Today, there are over 45 million Americans on food stamps. That number has increased by approximately 12 percent in the last year alone.

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