Jersey City’s initial $612M budget for 2020 comes with no tax increase, mayor says

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The initial $612 million budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year comes with no tax increase, Mayor Steven Fulop said this morning.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“For 6 out of the last 8 years we have worked to create budgets with no tax increase, yet we continue to see progress at every level, an accomplishment few others cities in the state have done,” Fulop said in a statement.

“We are introducing the budget earlier this year than ever before, in an effort to ensure adequate time to thoughtfully go through this process.”

According to the mayor’s office, an audit review team has been established to ensure city government is operating at the highest efficiency and lowest cost.

Specific goals this budget looks to accomplish are staffing 1,000 police officers, fully staffing all fire companies on a daily basis, hiring more building and construction inspectors, providing better oversight for overtime offered throughout the city, and expanding the Quality of the Life Task Force – among other things.

“While crafting this year’s budget, we analyzed every aspect to ensure the greatest efficiency without burden to the taxpayers,” added Business Administrator Brian Platt.

“Jersey City is also leading the state in progressive initiatives with the introduction of the first city-run bus system to alleviate transit woes, the first to mandate an electric municipal fleet, the installation of solar panels and charging stations, among other innovative and cost-saving measures.”

Additionally, Fulop acknowledged that the board of education “is struggling with their finances,” which is why they’re receiving the maximum amount of tax revenue possible through the city’s payroll tax.

He also said that the city is working on a plan “to help them dig out of this large deficit.”

Fulop has backed a school board referendum in November that would allow the voters to decide if the BOE should be elected or appointed.

While the Jersey City Council approved the ballot question at a raucous meeting earlier this month, the idea has been panned by members of the BOE and the Jersey City Education Association.

The municipal budget will be introduced at the February 13th council meeting.

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