At the Piscataway Senior Center, elderly residents appreciated the opportunity to ask questions of U.S. Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6), Tom Malinowski (NJ-7) & Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) alongside Mayor Brian C. Wahler about the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) from the 116th Congress.
Authored by Representative Pallone, H.R. 3, “… finally gives the federal government the ability to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for the American people. The bill also creates a new $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries and reverses years of unfair price hikes above inflation across thousands of drugs in Medicare.” H.R. 3 passed the U.S. House of Representatives on December 12, 2019.
March 8, 2021 – In addition to the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of families face difficult financial times. The unexpected changes to the household budgets of many across the country will sadly have long-lasting effects.
What families need are steady paychecks and affordable neighborhoods. To do so locally, it is critical that we continue to keep and create good paying jobs for hard working residents. Thankfully, the push for economic development made by the Township Council and myself greatly helps both family budgets and the municipal budget.
Far gone from our Township are the smokestacks of chemical factories. Longtime families like mine remember the Bakelite facility operating around-the-clock. Now waning are the use of office parks, and we certainly do not want vacant buildings dotting the Township. The future for our local economy is in state-of-the-art logistics centers and innovative manufacturing which we continue to attract to our community.
From refrigerators to pharmaceuticals to furniture, products that consumers are ready to order are now shipped to and from Piscataway. From train cars to pizza boxes to N-95 masks, all are now made in Piscataway.
The decisions made by our Township Planning and Zoning boards have helped to make logistics centers and light manufacturing facilities a reality. These boards understand that our zoning decisions and our master plan goals should recognize the changes in our economy. Our land use policies remain proactive.
In addition to the many job opportunities for Piscataway residents, these businesses contribute a lot of commercial revenue to the tax base. In fact, the construction of our $32 million Piscataway Community Center was fully funded from the tax revenue of these companies. Also because of this influx of new businesses, the Township has had a 12.8 percent lower municipal tax rate for three years in a row.
Standard & Poor’s kept Piscataway among its high ranked municipalities, again giving the Township its AA+ stable rating, its second highest rating since 2013. In its report, Standard & Poor’s stated, “We view the township’s management as very strong, with strong financial policies and practices under our financial management assessment methodology, indicating our view that financial practices are strong, well embedded, and likely sustainable.”
Standard & Poor’s 2020 & 2019 general obligation rating of AA+ stable matches the 2018 upgrade by Moody’s of its general obligation rating from Aa2 to Aa1(stable), its second highest rating possible. Let’s also remember that Money Magazine named Piscataway to its Top 100 Best Places to Live in America list for the fourth time in 2019.
So, as much of the economy comes undone, many local governments are faced with dire decisions. Like families, a number of municipalities throughout the nation are facing sudden shortfalls. Many towns will “bond out” – in essence, borrow money – to be able to pay for basic services for their residents.
Fortunately for Piscataway, we are not bonding out. Because we successfully attracted several companies that boost our Township revenues, we do not need to borrow money. We are living within our financial means and providing an outstanding level of municipal services and amenities to residents.
As always, if I may ever be of help to you, please call my office at (732) 562-2301.