The Mile Square Taxpayers Association hosted a forum in Hoboken yesterday on a variety of real estate related issues, of course including taxes, but Mayor Dawn Zimmer has written off the event as a “coordinated political misinformation campaign.
A few dozen residents attended the event hosted at the Elks Lodge on Washington Street, which had a number of speakers over the course of about three hours, beginning with Joe Hottendorf of the Liberty Board of Realtors.
He claimed that tax revaluations in Hoboken have become particularly problematic for 1-4 family households, which he says is the direct result of rent control. Hottendorf also alleged that while county taxes undeniably affect the Mile Square City, their impact is overstated and are only part of a larger picture.
Hoboken Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5), who also represents the Jersey City Heights, has previously come under fire for the county tax increases that impact the city.
However, he said since the tax increases come from an “archaic” state formula, it’s the New Jersey legislators who need to be held accountable in the matter.
Later, Romano said he feels people are being too short-sighted when viewing Hoboken as a village, also pointing to the fact that Hoboken High School graduated just 70 students this year, 12 of which whom were from Jersey City, as one prime example of an area that needs help from a cohesive unit.
In a prepared statement, Mayor Dawn Zimmer, in part, called the forum “a coordinated political misinformation campaign “by the MTSA and Liberty Board of Realtors, meant to “disseminate inaccurate information about Hoboken taxes for the purpose of misleading voters in the November 3 City Council elections.”
Her full detailed statement can be read here:
“The MSTA ‘forum’ was part of a coordinated political misinformation campaign by the MSTA and the Liberty Board of Realtors involving two websites (njrealestatetaxes.com and Hobrokennj.com) and a shadowy “pop-up” organization organized last month called ‘Citizens for Accountability.’
The apparent goal is to disseminate inaccurate information about Hoboken taxes for the purpose of misleading voters in the November 3rd City Council elections.
Ironically, the facts that refute their claims can largely be found in their own data, as published in the njrealestatetaxes.com website.
In 2014, the year Hoboken conducted its property revaluation, the County tax levy borne by Hoboken taxpayers increased by 14%. Our school tax levy increased by 3%. Our municipal tax levy increased by 6% of which approximately 4% (2/3) was attributable to statutorily required increases in our library and open space taxes. Hoboken’s discretionary municipal tax levy increased by only 2%.
Since 2010, Hoboken’s municipal tax levy has declined by 6% while Hoboken’s County tax levy has increased by 48% (28% due to the equalization formula and 20% due to increases in the total County tax levy).
Put simply, our county taxes have skyrocketed over the past 5 years while our municipal taxes have actually gone down. MSTA and the Liberty Board of Realtors are engaging in a misinformation campaign intended to advance their own interests at the expense of the Hoboken taxpayer and the truth.
The public should also be aware that Mr. Hottendorf’s son, Joe Hottendorf Jr., posted on a Facebook page over this past summer, what in my opinion felt like a threat to run me over on my bicycle with his truck.
When interviewed by the police, Mr. Hottendorf claimed that his threat was a joke. The charges against him were dismissed because a judge ruled that Facebook posts were private communications. The judge ruled that Mr. Hottendorf’s threat could not reasonably cause concern to me, despite my testimony that his threat in fact caused me serious concern.