Representation by those exempt of Taxation is Tyranny!!!
There is an oft repeated claim that the Orthodox Community doesn't pay taxes. That is clearly not true. As the Lakewood Tax assessor himself has asserted, the vast majority of Lakewood does pay taxes - and they pay quite a lot. Yes there are many synagogues and schools that are rightfully tax free but the vast majority of Lakewood pays high taxes as they are required to.
The VAAD claims to have a heavy influence on the Lakewood political scene. They make decisions and influence decision makers. Over the years our taxes have risen dramatically and many people point fingers at the VAAD for the dramatic increase in our tax levy. The VAAD's unabashed encouragement of high density residential development has fueled increases in taxes. Each new home costs Lakewood more than it earns due to the BOE portion which increases dramatically with each child who needs special ed and with bussing needs.
It is therefore shocking and a true eye opener to see that 4 of the VAAD members do not pay any property taxes!! That's right, the very same people who make decisions that impact our tax bills, don't feel the pinch in their own wallets since they are 'exempt'!
2 of them are Rabbi's and therefore clearly eligible for a tax free home as parsonage, and the other 2 are deans of schools. Yes, this includes Aaron Kotler who lives in a tax free home!!
It's time that we demand representation by people who share the brunt of the burden in paying the municipal tax levy!