Hoboken introduces prelim $144.3M municipal budget with 5.9% tax increase


The City of Hoboken is introducing a preliminary $144.3 million municipal budget with a 5.9 percent tax increase, with a presentation before the city council scheduled for this evening’s meeting.

Photo via Google Maps.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The preliminary municipal budget would equal approximately $14 per month for a home assessed at $527,000, according to city spokeswoman Marilyn Baer.

Last month, the Hoboken Board of Education approved a preliminary budget $88.4 million budget with a 24.3 percent tax increase, raising the average homeowner’s tax levy approximately $632.

“From major open space projects to water main upgrades and revitalizing our waterfront, this budget reflects our ongoing commitment to upgrade quality of life for Hoboken residents,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.

“While fixed costs beyond the City’s control, including multi-million-dollar state pension obligations and rising healthcare costs, continue to be a challenge, I am proud that our operations and discretionary spending continue to be well below the rate of inflation, reflecting our commitment to taxpayers.”

Baer elaborated, noting that the budget reflects significant fixed cost increases such as nearly $3 million in mandated state pension cost increases, a nearly $2 million increase in healthcare costs, and $750,000 contractual increase in trash collection.

She further stated that discretionary and operations spending remains below the rate of inflation (noting inflation has gone up 21 percent since 2018 and Hoboken’s tax rate has gone up 15 percent), as well as that reorganizations earlier in the year has reduced salaries by about one percent.

The mayor’s office also touted the expansion of Southwest Park, rehabilitation of Castle Point Terrace, investment in water infrastructure, the reconstruction of Sinatra Drive, and the implementation of sustainability projects as worthwhile investments in the spending plan.

Nonetheless, two of Bhalla’s critics on the council, 1st Ward Councilman Paul Presinzano and 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, were not impressed.

“#Hoboken: Not the final word on 2024 taxes let’s [be] clear— 2yrs of a 6% tax hike is unacceptable. When faced w/rising rent, expenses, we tighten our belts & sacrifice. It’s time our gov shows same fiscal discipline w/our hard-earned tax dollars. I’m committed to battling this hike,” Presinzano wrote on X.

“Funny, Mayor Bhalla’s headline is a ‘balanced budget,’ which is state law and not his proposed 6% tax increase. But seriously, as always, we will take a close look at spending and make sure taxpayers are being treated as fairly as possible,” Fisher said in a statement.

Last year, the city’s initial municipal budget was $135,951,106 with a seven percent tax increase, which ended up ultimately being a $136,004,550.65 spending plan with a 6.18 percent tax increase. The new budget proposal can be viewed here.

Ahead of the council’s first budget vote this year, the Administration will host nine budget workshops, all via Zoom at 6 p.m.., to provide an opportunity for public engagement.

Information on how to join the workshops will be issued via Nixle in the coming days and the first three workshops are as follows:

Monday, April 15:

Administration and Finance

City Clerk

Corporation Counsel

Tuesday, April 16:

Transportation and Parking

Parks, Recreation, and Public Works

Community Development

Monday, April 22:

Water Utility

Climate Action & Innovation

Public Safety

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  1. WOW. Taxes of every kind are sky rocketing you will have to be very rich or very poor and government subsidized to remain.
    A massive 23% increase in school taxes in just one year.. Just imagine if the built that 3/4 of a billion dollar sports center with a high school attached.