24 Feb TAPInto: Hazlet’s Solomeno Kicks Off Campaign at Middletown Park
By L. Andreola
MIDDLETOWN — Surrounded by fresh-fallen snow, looking out at nearly seventy-five supporters, Democrat Vincent Solomeno kicked off his campaign for State Senate in New Jersey’s Thirteenth Legislative District Saturday with a pledge to end annual property tax assessments in Monmouth County.
At a chilly campaign rally in Middletown, the U.S. Army Veteran and Hazlet homeowner took issue with incumbent Republican Senator Declan O’Scanlon’s role in the Monmouth County Real Property Assessment Demonstration Program (ADP).
“I’m running against the guy who literally wrote the law that created this,” Solomeno told the outdoor crowd at Tatum Park. “Senator O’Scanlon’s gift to us has been costing you and me too much for too long. He wrote the law to start it. On Day One, as your State Senator, I’ll write the law to end it.”
“If you’re a neighbor helping a neighbor — police, firefighter, EMT — if I’m your State Senator I will always have your back. Always.”
Under the provisions of a 2013 law sponsored by O’Scanlon and signed by former Governor Chris Christie, Monmouth County homes and commercial properties’ assessed values change annually. ADP replaced the previous system of assessing properties every several years that remains in effect in every other New Jersey county.
Five Monmouth County towns, including Marlboro, opted out of the program after local officials expressed concerns about the impact on taxpayers.
“I’m sick and tired of people in Trenton who talk a good game but fail to deliver for the people they serve,” said Solomeno. “I want to do better. That’s why I stand before you this morning, surrounded by the people I love, in the place that I’m devoted to, and proudly declare my candidacy for the State Senate.”
New Jersey’s Thirteenth Legislative District includes Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Fair Haven, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Little Silver, Marlboro, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Sea Bright, Rumson, and Union Beach.
Solomeno, who serves as an Army National Guard officer, also praised the service of essential workers, law enforcement, and volunteer first responders. He said, “If you’re a neighbor helping a neighbor — police, firefighter, EMT — if I’m your State Senator I will always have your back. Always.”