Pat Walsh’s Campaign Lies—Yes, Lies -- About Her Tax Record
Spends $50K or More on TV Ads Blasting Marano for Raises and Taxes Walsh Introduced and Voted For
Republican Pat Walsh has repeatedly claimed to have cut taxes over her more than a decade as a Somerset County Freeholder, most recently in an October 9, 2019 Facebook post. The claim is demonstrably untrue, as every year since 2011 Walsh has voted to increase the amount of taxes collected every single year for a total of $29 million more by 2019.
“Once again Pat is just saying anything she thinks will help her keep her job, and hoping that no one bothers to look at the fact that she’s added almost $30 million in county taxes in just nine years,” said Melonie Marano. “I served with Pat on the Green Brook Township Committee for four years, and watched her repeatedly vote to increase taxes there, too. We can do better than politicians like Pat who will say anything to get elected.”
Somerset County budgets have increased property tax collections by at least $2 million every year since 2011, with a high of $6M in 2019. Pat Walsh has voted, along with every other Republican Freeholder in that time, to raise taxes in each of those years. Yet they continue to claim to “cut County property taxes” in advertisements and campaign announcements.
On March 4 of this year, a campaign post twice said that in 2018 “Pat Walsh cut taxes.” The statement is simply untrue, because in 2018 the Freeholder’s budget reports Somerset County increased property tax collections by almost $2.2 million.
Somerset County publishes their annual budgets as passed on the County website here for review. Here are the annual amounts of revenue Somerset County Freeholders raised by taxation and the increase for each year since 2011:
The Parenti-Walsh campaign has spent more than $50,000 on television ads pushing the idea that Marano raised taxes as a Committeewoman in Green Brook. What the ads don’t say is that, as Mayor, Pat Walsh voted for the same budgets four of the six years Marano was in office, and the only reason she didn’t vote for the other two is that she had moved on to vote for more tax increases as a Freeholder.
In her time as Mayor from 1997 to 2003 Pat Walsh voted to increase the tax rate in Green Brook by 29%, with the average homeowner seeing their taxes go up by almost $3,700. *
“The issue is not that Pat raised taxes, because, just like business, government faces inflation and has to raise revenue to meet those costs and provide services for the community,” said Marano. “It’s the hypocrisy of attacking me for the same Green Brook budgets she voted for, and claiming to have cut taxes in years when tax collections rose by millions that makes her unqualified for public service. We can do better than politicians like Pat Walsh.”
“Walsh may not want to talk about Donald Trump’s lies and hypocrisy, but that’s likely because she works from the same playbook,” said Peg Schaffer, Somerset County Democratic Chair. “Walsh and Trump seem to believe that if they repeat the same lie over and over again people will believe it’s the truth. It’s cynical and we trust that the voters know better.”
The Somerset County Democratic Organization produces a web ad showing the truth of Walsh’s record on taxes as a Freeholder, a record that is in direct contradiction to her campaign claims. The video can be seen here.