HILLSBOROUGH: Resident has problems with OTW, its taxes and potential patron draw

To the editor: 
The OTW betting site proposed for the vacant Maestro 206 restaurant is closer to opening, according to the front page headline of the Sept. 17 edition of the Hillsborough Beacon. This should come as a surprise to no one.
At the public hearing in July, it was revealed that over $3 million in renovations had already been spent on the facility, all before final approval of the application. Who in their right mind would spend that kind of money unless being well assured that approval was imminent?
The application itself was not even available to the public until after that hearing. The majority of residents who addressed the racing commission members that evening felt that this entire proposal was “a done deal,“ and clearly we were correct.
Township residents had no say in whether or not this is a business we want to see in Hillsborough; now it appears that we’re stuck with it, like it or not. To add further insult to injury, our illustrious township government has agreed to a PILOT arrangement (payment in lieu of taxes). According to the Beacon, that comes out to about $30,000 a year, at least $12,000 less than what was paid by the former occupant. The taxes on my 1/8th-of-an-acre postage-stamp property are now a few dollars short of $10,000 a year; it is a stunning insult that a business that claims it will be worth millions in revenue will not be not paying the property tax rate that the rest of us are. There’s real fairness!
Hillsborough has been voted by Money Magazine as one of the best places to live in this country; an off-track wagering facility is utterly incongruous with that image. Wait for the traffic problems, wait for the need for extra police security and wait for the out-of-town low-life element to arrive. It shouldn’t take long. 
Marie Harvey 
Hillsborough 