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Republicans: Sweeney's Attack on Eagle Point Deal Not Based in Reality

The three Republicans on West Deptford's township committee say they've worked out a deal that values the property higher than what's likely to come out of a court decision.

Dear Editor:

Senator Sweeney continues to hide behind closed doors and use the Gloucester County Times as his vehicle to deliver baseless claims and disinformation.

Senator Sweeney and his party created this mess in the first place, delaying the inevitable for 24 years while spending millions of West Deptford taxpayers’ dollars in legal and expert fees with no results. Now the Republican majority is acting to clean up the tax appeals mess.

Senator Sweeney does not have the courage, solutions or answers to face the residents in person, as we requested in our letter to the editor on April 26, 2012, in the Times.

Judge Small, the presiding judge of the tax court, in his decision dealing with the on Dec. 4, 2009, stated, "There is no question that the proof of value of a refinery, absent a sale, is an almost impossible task," which means that the tax court would very likely conclude prior sales figures would be the only clear way to determine the actual assessed value of a refinery.

Looking back to the last time the Eagle Point Refinery was bought, we find our answer in a Jan. 19, 2004, article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, wherein it is reported that Sunoco bought Eagle Point refinery for $111 million.

In his letter to the editor on May 11, 2012, Senator Sweeney conveniently selected numbers that are impossible to understand when taken out of context to the entire settlement.

The senator claims we should have appraised Eagle Point at $225 million, but those numbers are not supported by the reality of the situation.

The Republican majority has worked out a settlement at an appraised value of $167 million (the $134 million settlement assessment at the town's 80% ratio for 2004), which is $56 million above the 2004 sale price. Remember, this was before operations were shut down.

When the Senate President inappropriately released this sensitive information, he compromises the case should it go to trial. This is not in the best interest of the people of West Deptford.

Perhaps Senator Sweeney and the former Democratic administration’s refusal to deal with this decades-old litigation and resolve this tax dispute is what forced Sunoco to close down its operations in West Deptford, resulting in over 400 people losing their jobs. The plant closing in turn has negatively impacted our local economy.

It is time all of us to pull together for the greater good of our fine community. If they have a better deal to resolve this long standing tax appeals issue, we challenge them to produce it.

The new Republican majority is moving West Deptford forward so that we can start to rebuild our once-thriving corporate base in this township; a move that will lead to more jobs for our residents and more ratables to reduce our residents’ tax burden.

Senator Sweeney—West Deptford taxpayers need closure on this 24-year-long ordeal. New Jersey and West Deptford cannot afford to continue taxing businesses right out of the state. This tax appeals case is one of the most critical issues impacting home values, taxes and our way of life in West Deptford.

Ray Chintall, mayor
Sean Kilpatrick, deputy mayor
Sam Cianfarini, committeeman

Ernest Kraus May 21, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Ray, Sam and Shawn; Keep doing the job to which you were elected; the running of the township with fiscal responsibility and not the unbirled spending of the Shields and Docimo years. The financial hole which the township finds itself was not dug overnight. Does the desire for the governor's chair drive Senator Sweeney? WHo are the real backers of Senator Sweeney?
WDNeedsHelp May 21, 2012 at 05:06 PM
"First of all, Senator Sweeney has never held an elected position in West Deptford and has never had a voting position in the approval of West Deptford's course of action in terms of this litigation." They why all of a sudden is he shooting off his big fat mouth? Because he and his County cronies, including WD, stand to lose tons of donations to their re-election bids when the taxpayer funding of their lawyers stops.
WDNeedsHelp May 21, 2012 at 05:12 PM
"That article clearly shows how Lynn Elsenhans, a big oil executive, is pushing for the closure and sale of the refinery and tank farm because upon the successful sale, she will make a severance bonus close to the amount of money West Deptford is giving back in these settlements." If this woman is doing what she is paid to do, IE broker a sale, why do you Dems have an issue with that??? The REAL issue is the 24 years the Dems have drug out this settlement all the while paying legal counsel and specialists who then directly donated right back to their campaigns. Sweeney and the WD Dems are the real Corporate raiders here, not Sunoco who wants out of a town and County that are trying to tax them through the nose. WD needs to get back to being business friendly or we will end up the next Camden...
WDNeedsHelp May 21, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Yes, somehow that gets lost on the Dems...It's like using your Mastercard to pay your Visa bill. I guess they are just too stupid to realize what a snake eating it's tail looks like.
leon gidzinski May 21, 2012 at 09:21 PM
There already calling WD CAMDEN. All the homes that are in foreclosure and boarded up or half demolished.Businesses leaving,because the dumocrats did not know how to govern the township. Oh by the way ceo lynn of sunoco got 34 million dollar severence package.Also if new ownship takes over south philly refinery she will get another 6 million. MUST BE NICE.i WOULD LIKE SOMEONE TO SHOW ME IF YOUR LIFE IS BETTER NOW THATN IT WAS 20 YEARS AGO. dID YOUR TAXES GO UP OR DOWN. did the value of your home increase or decrese.Health insurane up or down. West Deptford was WEST DEBTFORD now that the rep are doing something about it

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