The Hoboken City Council unanimously approved a roughly $112 million budget with a 2.3 percent tax increase at last night’s meeting.
While no members of the public spoke on the budget, Finance Committee Chair Tiffanie Fisher gave a detailed speech about how the council worked together to come up with a $111,812,234 budget.
Fisher also warned that preliminary figures from the board of education and the county both point to a four percent tax increase from each entity.
Ward 5 Councilman Peter Cunningham noted that while healthcare insurance cost increases led to an inevitable tax increase, he commended everyone involved for coming up with a lean budget, also advocating for responsible commercial development to increase city revenues.
As Hudson County View reported in March, the budget includes a $1.8 million increase from last year to compensate for city employees’ health benefits.
Cunningham also stated some revenues could possibly be made by examining how the city handles sanitation matters.
After Councilmen-at-Large Ravi Bhalla and David Mello spoke about taking the time now to start thinking about stabilizing taxes for next year and getting to work on repairing the infrastructure to eliminate water main breaks, respectively, Ward 4 Councilman Ruben Ramos had specific questions about the roughly $2.2 million Open Space Fund, wondering how much it will cost to maintain Hobokenâ€™s parks.
Additionally, Ward 3 Councilman Michael Russo, a typically dissenting vote on the board, commended his colleagues on a job well done and said he would make a rare exception of voting for a budget with a tax increase.
Russo also agreed with Mello in that itâ€™s time to start tackling water main breaks head on, noting that he and Ramos had discussed allocating part of the budget surplus to aid in the lingering matter.
The budget was approved by a seldom seen 9-0 vote by the board.
2.3% Not too bad.
Now if only the Hudson County Freeholders could do half as good a job with controlling their finances as Hoboken’s City Council has done in the last few years
Hoboken taxpayers now pay more taxes to the County of Hudson than they do to their own City and get very little in return. The County inflated budget caused 14% tax increase last year.
The City Council approved a budget that increases taxes on the small homeowner as condo owners, while at the same time it is looking to give a HUGE tax break to Bijou Properties on a 424 residential TOWER in the northwest part of town. Bijou Properties bought the land knowing that they were only permitted, under current zoning rules, to build around 40 units. Now not only do they want to build 10 times higher than permitted, they don’t want to pay full taxes. I don’t care what givebacks they are talking about. They aren’t give backs if I and all of the other full taxpayers in town have to pay for them!!! Zimmer and her council puppets like to talk a good story about over development yet, here they are, looking to approve 424 units in one of the worst flood zones in the city.
When a property gets a PILOT or tax abatement, the burden of school and county taxes gets passed along to all of the other taxpayers in the city while the luxury condos in Bijou Properties will pay NOTHING. That means that we are paying for all of the kids who live in this development to go to school. Maybe Zimmer can find a way to have the tax office send us tuition bill instead of tax bills. At least then we would know where our dollars are being spent.
Bijou and Zimmer have found a way for the taxpayers of this city to subsidize the wealthy.
Probably posted from your place at Church Towers. Speaking of people who pay nothing into the town….
Got facts ? I don’t think so.
Sadly this is the same bitching and moaning we get to hear when anything is proposed in Hoboken. They also never miss a chance to take a political cheap shot.
In this case they are also intentionally misrepresenting the proposed and benefits to Hoboken for the PILOT. The City Council has already discussed the legal ways using part of the PILOT to go to Hoboken schools.
They also are intentionally misrepresenting the facts the developers gets to build the same number of units they could have by zoning, but instead are asking build up and provide over an acre of open space, playgrounds, a full free standing public gym building next to the Jubilee Center, flood mitigation, repaving the 7th Street and maintaing the area between the new build and Monroe Center for 40 years under a Redevelopment agreement put together by a sub-committee of the City Council, the Administration and the developers.
While oy vey personally doesn’t care about the many benefits to Hoboken from this project I think most people the City Council will.