Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop defended his council record of voting no against the city doing a tax reval, exclaiming “it is catastrophic for you living in this city” during a Downtown Town Hall meeting last night – also stating people that advocate for the reval do so out of personal hatred towards the mayor.
During the Downtown Town Hall Meeting, a city resident posed a question about the mayors stop to the last tax reval the city was to under nearly a “quarter of a century ago.”
He stressed, “no fairness or equity in subsidizing those who can not afford their tax increases” and asked the mayor what his plans forth were going to be.
Giving an example of how detrimental a tax reval could be Fulop stated, “If property taxes go up $15,000, home value goes down dramatically because the buyer has to pay more on taxes, it’s basic economics. Taxes go up, home value goes down.”
The former councilman, now a long-rumored Democratic candidate for governor, defeated Jerramiah Healy in one of the most expensive elections in New Jersey history back in May 2013.
When discussing the recent history of the reval, Fulop took the Healy administration to task on the issue without mentioning any names.
“It started five years ago, six years ago: it was supposed to be delivered. Supposed to be delivered for you, all of you, the year of the election – right before the election. Then miraculously (snaps fingers) it got delayed a year. No reason why, it got delayed a year.”
“Let me ask you this question: if it was going to be a good thing to my predecessor, if it was going to be a good thing where you all would say ‘this is great, this is terrific,’ don’t you think he would’ve done it before the election.”
Fulop added that he “knew in his core it wasn’t the right thing to do,” bringing people up to speed on the fact that a former business administrator was instrumental in giving a $5 million contract to the potential reval firm before he left the city and started working at that said firm.
The West New York firm Realty Appraisal Co. and ex-City Administrator Brian O’Reilly have been embroiled in a long legal battle with Jersey City over the situation, claiming Fulop called off the reval after he took office to keep Downtown taxes from increasing, per The Jersey Journal.
Additionally, Fulop argued that if an individual is in the “winners category,” they could benefit from the reval by putting “$200 in their pocket, but lose home value of thousands of dollars.”
In case anyone was still unclear on Fulop’s stance on the issue, he concluded with a very definitive statement.
“People who are arguing for that are entirely disingenuous: entirely. They are doing it purely for hatred for me.”
The New Jersey Division of Taxation is hosting a public meeting on the subject tomorrow at Hudson County Community College, 161 Newkirk St., at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Scott Ring Room on the second floor.