The Margate school and municipal budgets are always hot topics at the monthly commissioner meetings.
On April 6, resident John Sewell makes his regular appearance during public comment. The un-shy Sewell once again skewers and occasionally entertains with his fanciful, factual, perfectly timed 3 minutes of taxpayer push-back.
This month, Mr. Sewell refers to a blistering Philly Magazine article that highlights the dwindling amount of full-time seashore residents….and the rising amount of tax dollars raised from part-time, non-voting residents.
From Philadelphia Magazine: There’s a real romanticism to the notion that Shore towns become almost private enclaves for the people who decide to live in them permanently. But there’s a flip side to that coin.
NUMBER OF FULL-TIME RESIDENTS DECLINE. THAT MEANS FEWER EYES ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO HAVE ACCESS TO PILES OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS.
More excerpts from PhillyMag.com article: There’s something a little maddening about ponying up big money for a vacation home only to find that it doesn’t buy you a meaningful seat at the table.
Second-homeowners aren’t allowed to vote in local elections. If they could vote, maybe the spending concerns would get debated a little more thoroughly. “A revolution was fought in this country for this very reason: taxation without representation”
“Millions of dollars flow into this city’s coffers, and no one knows where it goes. It’s very, very frustrating. The ultimate solution would be for all the homeowners to have the right to vote.”
But it won’t be so easy to dismiss the out-of-towners as their control of local real estate grows even larger. In Avalon and Stone Harbor, part-time residents own a staggering 87 percent of properties