The Jersey City Apartment Owners Association is taking aim at the administration over last month’s budget approval, exclaiming that “the sheer disregard of proper planning” by the municipality hurt property owners.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The tax bills, which property owners will receive in the coming days, will affect not only the property owners, but the renters of Jersey City. The sheer disregard of proper planning of the administration to present a budget shortly after the also-late July 2022 budget hearing, is unacceptable,” JCAOA Executive Director Wendy Paul said in a statement.
“A budget passed for reasons including potential loss of $26M in state funds, and even worse, possible furloughs and loss of city services. Once again, the responsibility of fiscal management and ensuring continuous city services, falls squarely on the shoulders of the property owners. It also should not be overlooked – the Administration has offered no reprieve for the tax bills, which will include THREE quarters in one bill.”
While the city’s preliminary $695 million budget was introduced in June, the final annual spending plan was not approved until October 17th, increasing to $724.8 million with several revisions.
The preliminary roughly $695 million budget came with a $1,030 tax hike per home assessed at $470,000, which ended up going up to about $1,162 per household.
The administration had previously accused the board of education of out of controlling spending for causing tax bills to go up, since they approved a nearly $974 million budget in May with an annual tax increase of $1,608 on a home evaluated at $460,000.
Paul was also critical of this “whopping $1 billion budget,” noting that it was reflected July tax bill and referred to the outcome as a “prohibitive increase.”
Nonetheless, she still indicates that went took place at the municipal level was more egregious.
“While property owners are obligated to pay their quarterly taxes, the Administration is obligated to adhere to a process that does not cause undue strain to the property owners,” Paul continued.
“Property owners are committed to the responsibility of owning property and being a responsible neighbor. The irresponsible oversight of the Administration calls into question all aspects of the budgeting process.”
She further stated that the administration needs to share what proactive steps are being taken to ensure this doesn’t happen again next year.
“The glaring consequence of poor budgetary planning and disregard for the property owners and subsequently renters, will continue to put a strain on the entire community, making Jersey City an unaffordable place to live,” Paul concluded.
A city spokeswoman did not return an email seeking comment.