Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop gave the first State of the City Address of his second term, highlighting public safety and also revealing he plans on introducing a second reval in the city next year.
The mayor discussed a wide range of issues and policies that his administration has pursued to benefit residents such as:
Investing an additional $670,000 in public parks; signing an executive order to launch the Vision Zero initiative that aims to reduce traffic fatalities entirely by 2026; eliminating corruption by winding down by the end of the year the off-duty police program whereby 11 police officers stole time by claiming to be present on utility projects; and the opening of the brand new City Hall annex in March that will include an office for affordable housing.
But two of the most important discussions related to public safety, particularly in light of the recent mass shooting at a Florida public high school, and taxes.
Fulop emphatically announced that because his administration has made public safety a cornerstone of his overall policy agenda, the city experienced decreases in all major crime categories such as homicides, assaults and robberies.
Now that the debate over gun control has gripped the nation as the number of mass shootings keeps happening at a fervent pace, the mayor lauded the Jersey City Police Department for recovering over 300 guns last year from the city’s streets.
“While this is not typically a statistic you see reported in the newspaper, it is important to share that we’ve continued to see the number of illegal guns recovered increased dramatically,” the Mayor said.
He continued, “Twenty-three percent more guns were recovered in 2017 than were recovered in 2016,” to great applause.
And the other big issue that has Jersey City residents concerned is the impending reval of their properties that may increase their property values and thereby having to pay higher taxes.
Just as he did on Tuesday evening at the Van Vorst Park Association, the Mayor said that he fought hard against the reval in his first term because he realized it could have dreadful consequences for long-term residents.
But although former Gov. Chris Christie (R) forced Jersey City to conduct its first reval in nearly three decades, Fulop said he’s taking steps to lessen the burden for long-term residents.
“We’re committed to doing it in the fairest way we can. We’re aware that the revaluations could potentially impact property values, and this concern is heightened by the new Trump tax plan that limits state and local tax deductions,” Fulop said.
He added, “So as a result, tonight, I’m letting residents know that in the next few weeks I’ll be putting forward before the City Council a proposal to conduct a second revaluation next year in order to account for the impacts to the market that may occur this year.”