Hoboken council to consider budget amendment that would include 4.5% tax decrease

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The Hoboken City Council will consider a budget amendment that would include a 4.5 percent tax decrease for property owners, as well as restoring prior cuts to the city’s rent control office.

Photo via Hobokennj.gov.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Last year, Hoboken taxpayers paid $4.2 million or 7.4% more in local taxes which was the largest single year increase in a decade since the city was under state monitor. This year, we need to do better for taxpayers and give some of this back,” 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, the sponsor of the resolution, said in a statement.

“Like most communities, Hoboken was hit hard by the pandemic, exacerbating what was already going to be a grim fiscal situation in 2020 driven by excess spending in prior years. I am grateful for the $7 million from the American Rescue Plan being used this year to help stabilize our municipal budget and tax levy, but the best use of those dollars is concomitantly with continued fiscal discipline, not to fund reinstated, excessive spending levels that were cut in prior years. We work for our taxpayers; they don’t work for us.”

The Hoboken Council voted to approve the first reading of a roughly $125 million budget with no tax increase at their April 7th meeting, but now it appears they will have the opportunity to make some changed during this evening’s regularly scheduled session.

If the amendment is approved, the tax levy would decrease by $2,740,000, or an additional 4.5 percent, allowing for a rarely seen tax decrease, according to the resolution.

The overall budget would therefore be trimmed down to $122,863,604.56.

In addition to hiring back employees of the rent control office, the resolution also calls for putting down a five percent down payment, or $250,000, for the repairs and restoration of Castle Point Terrace and Court Street – which have a cumulative projected cost of about $ 5 million.

City spokesman Vijay Chaudhuri said the administration put forth a “fiscally sound” budget and looks forward to working with the council to finalize a municipal spending plan.

“Mayor Bhalla is proud to have put forward a budget that is fiscally sound and protects the long-term health of the city. He looks forward to working with the council to finalize and implement a budget that is responsible to taxpayers, as we recover from the global health pandemic.”
The Hoboken City Council convenes this meeting via Zoom at 7 p.m. and the hearing will stream live on their Facebook page.