Jim Mangin Posted December 5, 2005 Report Share Posted December 5, 2005 Kearny’s Tax Increase Nightmare – Part II In an earlier post I mentioned that the budget presently being considered by Mayor Santos and the Town Council will increase taxes $720 a year on a home assessed at $100,000. Why? The Mayor blames the same villains he’s attributed every increase since becoming mayor – unanticipated increases in health benefits costs, insurance costs, dumping fees and sewage costs. WHAT are we doing to prevent it? Part II - Rising Insurance Costs - When Al Santos became Mayor the annual budget for insurance was $500,000. This year the Mayor's budget for insurance is $1,600,000 - or a 320% increase in just five years. What are we doing about it? I have a suggestion - GET US OUT OF THE MIDDLESEX COUNTY JIF! Kearny's participation in the Middlesex County Joint Insurance Fund was the brainchild of Business Administrator Joe D'Arco based on positive experiences he had with them in his previous employment. Joining this JIF was seen as a way to avoid the annual deficits Kearny incurred in our self-insurance program without having to raise taxes. We were told our annual premium would be about $900,000. Since we were budgeting $500,000 and incurring an annual deficit of about $400,000 this amount seemed appropriate to me. So I supported it. But our first premium bill came due for $1,300,000. When I questioned it I was told the additional $400,000 was to pay old claims from our self-insurance fund. But then next year's premium came due for another $1,300,000. Again I asked about the increase and got the same answer - old claims. The following year's bill was $1,505,000. I again questioned the increase but this time I got a different answer - this time I was told it was because of 9-11. No research was done, no analysis, no questions asked - let's just blame Sept. 11. How wrong is this? The Mayor and Council should immediately demand an investigation into our JIF premiums and question why we have never been billed the amount we were quoted when we went out pricing insurance premiums. In addition the Mayor and Council should at least investigate the feasibility of returning to self-insurance if it would save tax dollars. The Insurance Commission should research our claims while Kearny has been part of the JIF to determine if we could go it alone. In short, we need to do something about rising insurance costs instead of just paying lip service to the issue and passing the bill along to the taxpayers. Jim Mangin Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.