New Mayor Announces Plan: Shop in Middletown, Earn Property Tax Relief (Video)

Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger said the township is working to debut a new loyalty card that will give people an incentive to shop local -- by giving them a break on their property taxes.

In his first address at the township's new mayor on Sunday, Gerard Scharfenberger said the township is planning to roll out a "Buy Middletown" Property Tax Benefit Card in 2013.  

The purpose of the card is to reward residents for shopping local, by reducing their property taxes by a percentage of the amount they spend at participating Middletown busineses. 

"This is a win/win all around," said Scharfenberger. "Businesses benefit from increased sales and foot traffic, taxpayers benefit in that they have a simple, effective way to lower their property taxes, and the town benefits by stimulating the local economy."

"We also feel that this program will make Middletown more attractive to businesses considering opening somewhere in the area, " he said. The program is currently being reviewed by township attorneys.   

More than 150 people crowded the Town Hall meeting room Sunday to witness the oath, to accept an appointment to a committee, or to congratulate family members who stepped up to serve their town. 

They heard Scharfenberger recap other initiatives that are expected to bring revenue, economic boost and jobs to Middletown in 2013, such as: 

  • The opening at the end of January of the new Junior Titans ice rink will open, offering residents and high school ice hockey teams a convenient and top quality skating facility. 
  • The springtime groundbreaking of the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center project at a longstanding vacant, former AT&T facility and its promise to bring 300 new high-paying jobs, capital investment and boost to the economy. 
  • The fall classes at the new and ambitious Trinity Hall all-girls high school, which is leasing space at Croydon Hall.
  • The continued presence of FEMA at the former Avaya property in Lincroft, which is addressing the needs of Superstorm Sandy victims. 

He added that the newly formed Economic Development Committee and the Historic Preservation Commission will also be fully operational this year and add to the township's economic growth. 

Single stream recycling's recent debut in Middletown has been a success, the mayor said. The combinination of revenue increase and savings to town is $20,000 per month, Scharfenberger said. "We feel the staggering sum could easily be doubled, if compliance increased across the township," he said. 

Marlboro male January 09, 2013 at 03:53 AM
Again KB, you are wrong. The program is open to any and all businesses, not just a few. A hot dog stand on Rt. 79 could participate. It clearly helps to encourage people to shop in the town where they live. What is wrong with that? Why are you trying so hard to find something wrong with a program designed to help lower property taxes?
KB January 09, 2013 at 04:47 AM
Marlboro you are apparently confused. The issue isn't the hot dog stand on the corner, it is the many local businesses which may have ties to committee members or their family members. If you are correct that it is open to all businesses, that would include law firms and real estate firms. Need I draw a map? Since you seem to have some inside information, perhaps you can tell us whether there will be an exclusion for businesses with ties to committee members and their families. . Or better yet, specifically bar present and future committee members or their families from participating. Then we will know whether this is just another example of the little folk benefitting a little, so the big fish can benefit alot.
Marlboro male January 10, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Hardly. Not confused at all. As I said, the person who runs the company lives right near me. You are just fishing for imaginary things to worry about. It is very simple and is open to every business and taxpayer. Who cares if Hornik has a relative who owns a business in town? A taxpayer can save money from that business the same as anyone else's. As I said, it amazes me how hard some people look to find the negative in any good thing. Must be what happens when people comment. They feel they have to be cynical and negative to show how much they think they know.
KB January 10, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Take a basic course in Ethics in Government and then report back. The fact that your buddy next door runs the program just makes the case. Since it is you who chose to initially comment on my opinion, it seems you are the one trying to posture here. You also didn't address any of the obvious conflicts of interest, but let's hope Middletown's lawyers do more vetting than you.
Politicalpony February 11, 2013 at 10:20 PM
I have to laugh. Have you ever heard of the Mayor Council for NJ? They sit together and work these sort of things out among one another. If a Mayor of a town thinks an idea might work for them they act upon it. If I'm not mistaken, Scharfenberger was the head of this group some time back. As of late he over see's a larger Socialist take over of the state in The State Stratgic Plan. Has anyone evr done any homework in the area of Sustainability? Yes, such as in Sustainable NJ, ICLIE and so on?. Anyone ever connect the dots to these two organizations aforementioned to the United Nations and their program called Agenda 21? Marlboro is waist deep in this nonsense take over of swallowing all the private property in their town. Go Green! Or better yet GO Communism. Don't think so? Well before you come in to bash and trash on me as a nut case, go do some real boring reading. This stuff will make your head spin! Don't get me wrong, I like Scharfenberger. Or should I say his personality. But I'm afraid he knows exactly what he's doing on the subject I just mentioned above. If he doesn't, even after being told and showed the validity of it, then we all have a problem. I like the guy, but his intentions are very questionable. In fact darn right suspicious.


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