The Hoboken City Council unanimously approved (9-0) a $124,878,217.96 budget that comes with a municipal tax decrease of 2.8 percent thanks to federal relief funds.
The adopted municipal budget provides for park improvements, flood infrastructure upgrades, continued water main replacement, road repaving, municipal garage updates, Vision Zero safety improvements, the ongoing construction of the City’s largest resiliency park in Northwest Hoboken, among many other expenditures.
The adopted budget also includes $6.4 million from the American Rescue Plan.
“I am very proud that we have once again been able to deliver a balanced budget and provide much needed financial relief to residents, despite the extraordinary circumstances presented by the pandemic,” Mayor Ravi said in a statement.
“Through collaboration with the City Council and funding allocated to the City through the American Rescue Plan, the City will continue to fund critical quality-of-life initiatives and infrastructure upgrades that will benefit residents for years to come. Thank you to the City Council finance subcommittee, City Directors and finance department for working collaboratively together to create a responsible budget.”
Finding consensus on this year’s spending plan in Hoboken wasn’t easy.
While the council approved a preliminary budget in April with a flat tax rate, they voted down two budget amendments that would’ve come with 4.5 and 3.1 percent tax decreases, respectively, in June before approving a $1.7 million amendment allow for a 2.8 percent decrease last month.
“I am proud to have led the Finance Subcommittee for this year’s annual budget process and I am grateful for the support of all of my colleagues with a 9-0 vote on the budget amendment in July, which preceded tonight’s full budget passage,”
“A lot of great work was done by the professional Finance Department Staff at City Hall, especially Business Administrator Jason Freeman and Finance Director Linda Landolfi,” added Councilwoman Emily Jabbour, chair of the finance subcommittee, who also thanked her colleagues for the unanimous vote on the July amendment.
“I’m grateful to my colleagues on the Finance Subcommittee – Councilmembers Cohen and Russo – and appreciate the collaborative process that the Council engaged in to reach agreement on a budget that will give taxpayers some relief during a difficult time, without negatively impacting city services.”
3rd Ward Councilman Mike Russo, who also sits on the finance subcommittee, expressed enthusiasm about the final spending plan approved last night.
“For my entire tenure serving on the Hoboken City Council, I have pushed for a reduction in taxes, and I am proud to have worked with the Administration and my Council colleagues to deliver that,” he noted.
“During what has been one of the most challenging times for our City, keeping money in residents’ pockets is paramount. I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish, and I thank my colleagues, the Mayor, and his administration, for their diligence in providing taxpayers needed relief.”
Finally, 5th Ward Councilman Phil Cohen, the third member of the finance subcommittee, feels the approved budget achieved the best possible outcome for residents.
“This budget is a win-win-win as it provides residents relief and funding for capital improvement projects without compromising any City services,” he explained.
“Thank you to Mayor Bhalla, the City Council, and the Mayor’s administration for working together to provide creative solutions and deliver a welcome tax break to Hoboken residents in a tough year.”