There’s many crazy things about Camden politics, and its tax codes are one of them. Camden’s government, schools, and public services are so poorly funded because of its extremely poor tax base- around 40% of Camden residents are below the federal poverty line. But outside of widespread poverty, Camden receives so little taxes because so many properties are exempt. Over HALF of the city’s properties are tax exempt, and only $23 million is expected in taxes this year. Most of the $167 million budget comes from the state. With extreme budget cuts last year, resulting in laying off about half of all City of Camden employees (including police, fire, and closing all city libraries) the city thought it wise to raise property taxes. Though it is true property evaluations were probably out of date, it felt like a case of the city squeezing money out of the least likely place- its own poor. I fear it will run out struggling families who cannot afford the increased taxes.