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 Hoboken’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 it’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.