Let’s Bring Transparency to Madison, NJ Borough Council

Hendrickson and Schreiber shoot down Madison's stealth tax - our utility bills!
Hendrickson and Schreiber shoot down Madison's stealth tax - our utility bills!

Republican Candidates for Borough Council Dr. Ron Hendrickson and Denis Schreiber today commented on the structure of Madison’s electric utility rates.

“To put it plainly, Madison’s above market electric rates are downright onerous,” stated Mr. Schreiber.  He went on to explain that every electric customer in Madison is a victim of our Borough Council’s electric utility rate policy, emphasizing that “even Madison’s non‐profits and our Board of Education suffer financially as a result of this ‘stealth’ tax. High rates also act as a barrier to entry and a drag on profitability for our downtown businesses and lead to empty offices and storefronts.”

Hendrickson and Schreiber expressed astonishment about a recent statement from a Democrat candidate for Council that praised Madison’s high utility rates. According to Schreiber, “Our opponent claims that the significant excess electric revenue helps to keep the borough’s property taxes low, funds infrastructure, maintains Madison’s credit rating and – most alarmingly – ‘[g]ive(s) our non‐profits the opportunity to contribute to the cost of maintaining our infrastructure.’

"This is disingenuous. They ought to just come out and say ‘we need more tax revenues in order to keep property taxes down, so all you non‐profits, better pay up.’ Instead, they do it the sneaky way.  Makes us wonder if the non‐profits, renters, and even consumers in general realize they are paying a stealth tax.”

Dr. Hendrickson is concerned about the misleading characterization of the electric utility “dividend.”  “To our knowledge, the Borough Electric Utility has never issued stock and we, the rate payers, are not shareholders. So, how can the small reduction in our utility rate be a “dividend?” It isn’t. Let’s stop pretending that it is something that it is not. It is a rebate... or rate reduction or whatever. But it isn’t a dividend.”

Both Hendrickson and Schreiber are concerned that the Borough Council, which consists almost entirely of Democrats, maintains electricity rates that are so much higher than market rates, and “then congratulates itself when it returns a small percentage to consumers. It is money that they should not have collected in the first place – it’s a stealth tax,” stated Hendrickson.

Hendrickson and Schreiber outlined their proposed policies regarding electric rates. “Instead of doing it the sneaky way,” said Schreiber, “why not do the right thing? Reduce the electric rates, stop subsidizing the budget and property taxes, and realign the budget revenues and expenses to accurately reflect what it costs to run our town. That way, we as Madison residents can make informed decisions... are our property taxes too high, just right, too low? Are there budget items and services that we can live without or that we absolutely need? Let the voters decide.

By voting for the Hendrickson‐Schreiber team on November 7, you can be assured that the transparency will be brought to the Council.