Update #6: Show Me The Money
-As of March 17, 2017, there is $2,111,562 in the Fair View Cemetery Maintenance and Preservation Trust Fund.
-Fair View Cemetery generated $520,998 and $553,291 and in sales during 2016 and 2017.
-Fair View Cemetery deposited $42,529 into the Fund from March, 2016 to March 2017.
-Fair View Cemetery earned $167,717 and $139,514 in total interest from this Fund in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
-Fair View Cemetery spent $459,437 in total for 12 months following March, 2016, mostly on salaries for Board Members and their family.
In 2003, The New Jersey Senate and General Assembly enacted new legislation that revised existing law and provided for the further regulation of cemeteries throughout the state. It is generally known as the “New Jersey Cemetery Act of 2003. This law contains certain provisions and clauses that are connected to our fight in preventing the dangerous and unnecessary crematorium from being built by Fair View Cemetery. But please remember, all cemeteries are considered non-profit entities that provide a public service to the local community. And only active cemeteries can operate a crematorium.
First, in section 12, which details the required Maintenance and Preservation Fund, the law states:
-It is the public policy of this State that a primary obligation of each cemetery company shall be the creation of a fund for the permanent maintenance and preservation of the cemetery.
-Every cemetery company shall establish an irrevocable trust fund, called the Maintenance and Preservation Fund, the income from which shall be expended for the maintenance and preservation of the cemetery.
-A cemetery company shall make the deposits to the Maintenance and Preservation Fund required by this act and may make additional deposits.
Additionally, in section 13, the law states:
-A cemetery company shall collect and pay into the Maintenance and Preservation Fund the following fees and charges:
(1) on the initial sale by a cemetery company of each grave, 15% of the gross sales price;
(2) 10% of the initial sales price of a crypt or niche in a public mausoleum or columbarium;
-Monies required to be deposited into the Maintenance and Preservation Fund shall be paid to the fund on a monthly basis. Such deposits shall be made by the last day of the month following the month in which the monies were received.
-A cemetery company may make additional payments or accept contributions into the Maintenance and Preservation Fund.
Furthermore, Section 20 outlines how cemeteries in New Jersey are exempt from taxes. For example:
-Cemetery companies shall be exempt from the payment of any real estate taxes, rates and assessments or personal property taxes on lands and equipment dedicated to cemetery purposes.
-Cemetery companies shall be exempt from business taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, and inheritance taxes.
-Charges paid to a cemetery for an interment space shall be exempt from the payment of sales or use tax.
-Trust funds, and the income from trust funds, held by a cemetery company shall be exempt from taxation and assessment, and sale, seizure or sale for collection of judgments against the cemetery company.
Consider the New Jersey Cemetery Act of 2003 and the specific contextual information regarding this law and how it relates to Fair View Cemetery, certain questions emerge regarding the motivation behind building a dangerous and toxic crematorium in Middletown.
-If the cemetery is economically viable for decades to come, then why do they want to build a crematorium so urgently?
-Considering the potentially large revenue stream that would result from the operation of the crematorium, what does the cemetery plan to do with this extra cash?
-Considering the cemetery pays no taxes of any kind, what is the benefit to Middletown and local property owners if the crematorium is built?
-What would be the numerous negative effects and unintended consequences if the crematorium is build to the people of Middletown and surrounding communities?
-Did the members of the Board for Fair View Cemetery ever consider the harmful impact upon Middletown?
Non-profit cemeteries are designed to provide a service to the local community and the resident families. Is building a for profit crematorium by a non-profit cemetery that does not pay taxes and does not contribute to the local economy provide a service to the local community and the resident families?