Reminder Publishing sent both candidates for Westfield Ward 1 city councilor identical questionnaires covering several topics of interest to voters. Answers are in the candidates’ own words and have not been edited, except for spelling and punctuation. Responses are listed in the order that candidates will be listed in the ballot: incumbent first, then challenger.
Today’s question: Are Westfield residents taxed too much or not enough? How will you approach your vote on the tax split factor?
Nicholas Morganelli: Residents are overtaxed, and businesses moreso. This is not from me, as I’ve spoken to both, and this is what I hear often. If we are more business-friendly and shift the tax in that direction, it promotes small business. The more businesses that stay and thrive here, and that are interested in starting in Westfield instead of a neighboring community, the greater the tax base from business, which is a win-win for residents. It keeps residential taxes lower as a result.
Marybeth Berrien: One of the biggest tax issues is housing. And yes, residents have the burden. This is not an either-or issue. This is not about us vs. them. We need a plan to shoulder the burden collectively, in the fairest possible way. Some residents, especially seniors, are being taxed out of their homes due to the increase in property values. New residents are being held accountable to pay for failing infrastructure, decades old. We need a plan.
Additional questions and answers with the Ward 1 candidates will appear on Oct. 28 and 30. For previous questions and answers, visit thewestfieldnews.com/tag/election-2021.