How long is Oroho going to continue to refuse to help the farmers with this problem?

Sep 10 2019 | 12:53 PM

    In the article "Dairy Farmers bill becomes law," August 29 Advertiser-News, State Senator Oroho is quoted as stating: "As the Garden State, we should do all we can to help keep the farmer on the farm."

    Okay, political talk is cheap, has Senator Oroho personally taken any official action to insure that the farmland will finally be properly assessed for tax year 2020? A reduction in the farmers' property taxes would surely help "keep the farmer on the farm." There is still time. The local tax assessors aren't required to submit the assessed values for tax year 2020 to the County Board of Taxation until Jan. 10, 2020.

    I first notified the 24th District Office about the problems with farmland assessment back in mid-2015.

    On Nov. 1, 2017, I issued my incomplete five-month, 130-page (including attachments): Study concerning the Tax Assessors and Tax Officials in the four northwestern counties of New Jersey: Morris, Passaic, Sussex & Warren, Concentrating on Farmland Assessment, Subtitle: Farmland Assessment, apparently a prime example of New Jersey's systemic official corruption.

    At least two copies of my Study were given to the 24th District Office, and I have had several meetings with people from the 24th District Office.

    In a letter to the 24th District Office dated June 8, 2018, State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio wrote: "The Department of Agriculture is making efforts to provide the soil group (A through E) information available to landowners in the very near future. If a county soil conservation district is unable to supply a landowner with a soil map for his or her property, the Department of Agriculture will assist the landowner in acquiring a soil map for Farmland Assessment purposes." PLEASE NOTE: that was in June 2018!

    This is especially important to the farmers in northwestern New Jersey. Even a State Senator should be able to recognize that the rock outcroppings in the farmers’ fields are not Soil Group A or B. Obviously the tax assessors and officials refuse to.

    If all of the farmland isn't properly assessed for tax year 2020, shouldn't Senator Oroho initiate whatever official action is required to have all of the tax assessors and officials investigated and prosecuted under 2C:30-2. Official Misconduct, "b. He knowingly refrains from performing a duty which is imposed upon him by law"?

    Question: How much longer is Senator Oroho going to allow the tax assessors and officials to knowingly and intentionally screw the farmers?

    William H. Gettler

    Wantage Township