Taxes are consistently on the minds of our residents, and with New Jersey burdened with some of the highest property taxes in the nation, the concerns are real.

Questions about where tax dollars actually go and how taxes are broken down on someone’s quarterly bill are fairly common, and one of the more prevalent into my office of late has been:

“If the township has cut taxes the last four years, why has my overall tax bill not gone down?”

The answer is fairly simple.

The municipal portion of your tax bill, of which the township is responsible for, accounts for only 20 percent of your total tax. Your overall tax bill is a reflection of multiple taxes, including Municipal, Mercer County (21 percent), Library (2 percent), County Open Space and Local Open Space. By far the largest percentage of your tax dollars – 56 percent – goes to the school district. While we have certainly helped advise the district regarding their spending and budgeting, the Township only controls the municipal tax rate, which since 2014 has been flat or reduced to the tune of (in cents) .531, .531, .526, .524, .521 and .518. We try to reduce this tax whenever possible to help offset increases in those other taxes.

The General Tax Rate is a multiplier best translated as $1 per every $100 of assessed value. In Robbinsville Township, the past four years of municipal tax cuts has amounted to a savings of over $260,000 (approximately $65,000 per year)—or the equivalent of an entire tax penny.

In November of 2016, our residents voted to approve a 1.5 cent increase to our Local Open Space tax to protect over 400 acres from residential development and prevent an increase in school enrollment. Those preserved lands now include the former Miry Run Golf Club and Washington Woods.

Twelve years ago, Robbinsville had the fastest growing tax rate in Mercer County. Today, we have arguably the most stable and, thanks in large part to our residents, one of the most aggressive Open Space programs in the state.

I hope this helps you understand your tax bill as we head into this year’s election.

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It is that time of year again; a time when a few bad actors with terrible intentions prey on good people.

Recently, a disturbing scam using our police department phone number —(609) 259-3900—has been reported. The suspect(s) are “spoofing” the legitimate phone number for the RPD and are attempting to frighten victims into providing their personal information over the phone. The RTPD would NEVER call you requesting personal information such as your Social Security number or date of birth. It also would NEVER threaten citizens with arrest if personal information or money is not provided.

If you receive a suspicious call, please hang up the phone immediately and do not provide any personal information. Remember, no one should ever ask you for your social security or bank account numbers via telephone or email.