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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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From the blog Hudson Democracy.... Great take on the budget vote, one-time budget gimmicks and Viola.

Saturday, April 24, 2010
Fool Me Twice

As I reported Wednesday night, the Jersey City Council finally approved a budget for 2010, almost ten months into the fiscal year, which ends June 30. What that means is that by the time the council got around to voting on the budget document, more than 80 percent of the money it accounts for had already entered the city's coffers and been spent.

In this way, the City Council didn't really pass a budget; it passed a document showing how the city has been spending its money since July 1, 2009.

The final budget, which brings the tax levy within the state cap of $185 million and cut several hundred dollars off the astronomical tax increase proposed by Mayor Healy when he got this ridiculous process going by submitting a farcical budget proposal minutes before a regular City Council meeting January 13, was approved five to three. The changes made the budget a significant improvement over the mayor's fiscal document, but that's a comparison by which nearly anything would look good.

West Side Councilman David Donnelly, Journal Square Councilwoman Nidia Lopez and Downtown Councilman Steven Fulop voting against it. Bergen-Lafayette Councilwoman Viola Richardson was absent (see below).

Along with the property tax levy, the council assessed another tax Wednesday night. It taxed the city's patience with self-serving nonsense.

Before voting for the budget, Greenville Councilman Michael Sottolano and Heights Councilman Bill Gaughan very somberly described the hard work of the last few months, trimming line items to deal with city revenues lost in a bad economy and nixed by a Republican governor who would probably sell Hudson County to New York for a handful of beads.

As Fulop rightly pointed out before voting against the budget, this is disingenuous. The city's real fiscal condition has been apparent for years, and it is a result much less of outside forces than mismanagement and corrupt priorities within the culture of the H.C.D.O.-controlled City Hall.

Indeed, fiscal year 2010 is perhaps the best example of exactly what is going on.

It's a fact that Jersey City has a structural budget deficit of at least $40 million; a better guess is probably $45 million. That means that even if the economy is performing at its maximum capacity, and Jersey City is collecting all the taxes it could reasonably expect to collect in such a context, the city would still be spending about $40 million more each year than it could take in through taxes and fees.

This isn't guess work; when investors research the city before buying its bonds, this is the fact that every credit rating agency states up front. The city spends a lot more each year than it could ever afford.

But Jersey City is not a nation (thank God) and it cannot create sovereign debt by printing notes or bills to cover its budget deficit. The state says Jersey City has to balance its budget every year. So how does it handle its addiction to cash?

It has two choices. Either it can raise taxes each year to make up the deficit, or it can rely on one-shot revenues to fill the hole.

You will remember that 2009 was an election year. Mayor Healy had raised about $3 million to pay for a second term, and he expected to bring a large council majority into office with him. Therefore, a large tax increase was off the table.

A municipal election, however, was the only thing that made 2009 remarkable. The city government still had a large budget gap to close, as it does every year. But politics took away the city's options. It needed non-tax revenue to close the deficit.

In fiscal year 2009, the city got two big breaks. One, the Democratic-controlled state government gave Jersey City a huge gift by passing a law that allowed municipalities to skip their yearly contribution to the pension system for public employees. In this way, the city saved a $15 million appropriation, and the only cost was punting the debt down the line for a year or two.

Two, the city received a gift outright. It signed an agreement with PPG Industries that required PPG to clean up its chromium dump of Garfield Avenue and pay the city a one-time, $15 million cash settlement.

These items, combined with down-payments on tax abatements which give the city a big up-front payment from developers in return for decades of lost tax revenue, helped the city get through May 2009 without a tax increase. The election was won, and then exactly two days after Richardson and Sottolano prevailed in their ward runoff elections, the City Council approved a property tax increase of 11 percent to get through the rest of the fiscal year.

All of this amounts to one lesson: long before January 2010, every member of the city council and everyone in the mayor's office knew that fiscal year 2010 would be bleak. And yet member after member of the City Council sat on the dais Wednesday night and opined of their shock at the city's fiscal state and the need, even after millions of dollars in cuts, for a tax increase of almost $600 for every $100,000 of assessed property value.

Next year, the same thing is going to happen, and the same chorus which this year claimed to have been blindsided by an economic recession three years into it will blame Chris Christie for the city's mess, even though Trenton has gladly tolerated Jersey City's profligacy for decades, especially during the four years of the Corzine administration.

These council members are either misleading the public, or are totally oblivious to what's happening in the city.

To help you decide, consider that this is how the City Council and mayor respond to a great chance to save a few bucks at no cost to taxpayers.

Where's Viola?

Richardson did not cast a vote of the budget. She was absent from Wednesday's special City Council meeting.

You might not know it if you live in Jersey City, but developing and passing a budget is the most essential function of any government unit. Even the City of Jersey City.

So why couldn't Richardson, representing one of the city's most depleted wards, find a few hours to vote on the budget?

City officials have said she was out of town, tending to a sick relative.

But Agustin Torres of the Jersey Journal reports that on Tuesday night, Richardson was at a party for a retiring fireman at a bar on MLK Boulevard.

At the regular April 14 City Council meeting, I briefly spoke with Richardson on a matter unrelated to the budget. I told her there was some information I wanted to give to her. She told me she would be around until Monday, April 19, but that after she attended a public meeting on the Garfield Avenue chromium dump she would be "getting out of here." She didn't mention why.

Posted on: 2010/4/28 2:29
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Re: Property Taxes will increase as Jersey City introduces $507 Million budget
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Typical Augie Torres. Still carrying water for Lou Manzo and Sandy Cunningham.

Posted on: 2010/4/26 20:14
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Re: Property Taxes will increase as Jersey City introduces $507 Million budget
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Political Insider: Budget vote is 5-3 -- How convenient!

By Agustin C. Torres/The Jersey Journal
April 25, 2010, 2:09PM

The Jersey City council approved, 5-3, the $510 million municipal budget this week, adding about $572 a year to the average property owners tax bill.

Agreeing with Mayor Jerramiah Healy's spending plan is the usual gang: Council President Peter Brennan and the other council dais barnacles, Bill Gaughan, Willie Flood, Michael Sottolano, and the ever popular Mariano Vega.

On the nay side are David Donnelly, Steven Fulop and Nidia Lopez.

Donnelly was not in office when the City Council approved last year's 11.25 percent tax hike, after the municipal election. Lopez approved that budget and that additional $450 annual fleecing of property owners. The next morning she was at her Florida home. Fulop provided the only vote against that budget.

Now let's look at the problem facing the administration and Jersey City contingent of the Hudson County Democratic Organization.

For now, Brennan is the favorite of county and city powers to replace Healy in 2013, or sooner. They could not have the council president casting a tie-breaking vote for the big-hand-in-your-pocket increase. Such a vote would be a Rodan-sized albatross around his neck in a future campaign.

There would have to be pressure on several council members to vote for the budget so Brennan would not be put in that delicate position. I was betting that the most likely target would be Richardson -- and lo and behold, she just didn't show up at the budget vote session.

Was it a coincidence?

City Hall folks say she had a sick relative or acquaintance, or something -- which, other than being struck by a car or meteor, is a good excuse. Reporters were told that Richardson "even" changed her City Hall voice mail because of the emergency.

A budget vote is the one important official action that your constituents expect from your political existence. An hour or two away from sick bed duty is all that is needed.

Apparently, there was no emergency or volcanic ash the Friday evening before the vote because Richardson was with Sen. Sandra Cunningham and others at Mogul's, on Martin Luther King Drive, where retired Fire Capt. Eddie Campbell was honored.

It must have been a sudden emergency.

FULOP AND HIS 'GALLIC WARS'

Gaius Julius Caesar wanted any excuse to put a successful campaign under his sword belt, a good way to bigger things in the Roman Empire. So about the late 50s BC, Caesar made an impression by winning the Gallic Wars. He had some help, an alliance with other tribes of Gaul.

Fast forward to this week's school election. Downtown Councilman Fulop felt like he had crossed the Rubicon. He made his alliance with that big tribe, the teachers union, defeated the barbaric horde and supplanted them with those he backed, in particular Trustee-elect Sterling Waterman, who came up with an impressive 7,000-plus votes.

I do not like to equate school election skirmishes with
municipal campaigns. They are different animals. In this case, with the vacuum in City Hall, Fulop does send the message that he has expanded his reach beyond Downtown.

He also succeeded in sending a ripple of fear among those who are not sure whom to support in the 2013 municipal race. Do they pledge fealty to Fulop or wait to see if another pretender evolves?

HE IS THE GHOST WHO WALKS

Former Assemblyman Louis Manzo was hit with an additional count in a superseding indictment Thursday. This is what happens when you open your mouth and accuse federal prosecutors of making the massive federal corruption arrests last summer for (Gov. Chris Christies) political gain.

Manzo and his brother Ron are accused of taking bribes from a government informant. Lou Manzo faces an additional one count of mail fraud -- he mailed his ELECT (campaign financial) report to Trenton and did not include the alleged bribe.

If Manzo is found guilty on the other counts, then the new count applies. If he beats the rap on the other counts, then the new one does not hold water by itself. Manzo will use it in his prosecutorial misconduct argument. Everyone will go to trial angry.

Superseding indictments are not unusual. Former Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini was hit with one that carried five additional counts. In February, City Council candidate Lori Serrano also got one that included the same mail fraud count.

Manzo is to be arraigned all over again Wednesday. It is a good bet he will continue to throw sand in the face of the prosecutors through the proceedings and badmouth them from court to his car.

"They're trying to kill a ghost," he said.

Manzo pronounced himself dead and his date of death is July 23, 2009, when the FBI made its now famous mass arrests.
"My life was over when they did that because even if I prove my innocence, the only thing people will remember is the accusation."

Yet, he seems pretty spry for a corpse about to face the judge again.

INSIDER NOTES

-- Could Fulop face a challenge from Ward F?

Sources in the black community say Assemblyman Charles Mainor wants to be mayor. They said he is reaching out to young black community leaders in an attempt to form a new group, more political in nature that would be a springboard to City Hall.

There is a wait-and-see attitude among some. They want to know if Mainor is doing this for himself or is he a strawman for 31st District Sen. Cunningham. I'll go with Charlie on this one.

-- Anna Roberts, wife of former Mayor Dave Roberts, was warmly welcomed back to work by fellow members of the Hoboken Library board. Mrs. Roberts missed a few meetings due to illness.

-- Question: Just who is running the day to day business at City Hall in Jersey City these days? Is it the mayoral (one person) staff or legal department? Everyone else is disengaged.

-- This may seem a little bit like sandbagging but it's an interesting question. Did Tarrunumm Murad or an emissary attend the Fulop $250 a ticket fund-raiser on Feb. 4 at Puccini's restaurant? He was invited? Murad is the Tramz Hotel Group which wants to build a Hilton on Marin Boulevard in Liberty Harbor North.

Just curious and it's fun to mention.

-- Some folks in the camp of Sheriff Juan Perez, a die-hard Republican, inform me that GOP primary rival Christian Araujo's petitions for candidacy list 184 names and all the signatures came from North Bergen (as in Sen. Nick Sacco's domain).
By contrast, Perez's signatures are from all over the county, they said.

Perhaps there are many people in North Bergen concerned with the constitutional offices of the county. Or could it be Araujo is a clever plant by Sacco and the anti-Perez forces to siphon votes away from Perez.

We get it. Araujo is a supporter of the Democratic primary candidate, Undersheriff Frank Schillari, a Sacco pick and a phony GOPer.

This coming from people behind Perez, who became a convenient Republican after he realized the Democrats were dumping him and there was no help from his godfather, Healy, who has morphed from mayor to zombie.

-- U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez held his annual fundraising party at the Pegasus restaurant at the Meadowlands track last night. It was not an impressive affair, say my better sources. A small crowd. It did not have the buzz and shoulder-to-shoulder feel of the past, even when they were honoring baseball's Dave Winfield. Sure there was Hoboken's Bernard Kenny, former Union City Mayor Rudy Garcia, and Schillari but that was about it for personalities.

It reflects what is happening on another front. Guess Hudson County Democratic chairman candidates Brian Stack, Union City mayor and senator, and Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith are backing off the honor.

Stack runs for mayor in a nonpartisan city election and it would be tough to lose those Cuban Republican votes in the future if he led the county Democrats. He is not too crazy about becoming Mr. HCDO. Smith also would not care for the heavy and hot responsibility preferring to solidify his own local organization.

Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise would love to be the HCDO head but he knows the North Hudson mayors would be very unhappy with him.

Does this tell you that the HCDO is a mess?

As one Democratic political operative put it: "Menendez is probably wishing a cabinet position opened up."

Imagine having to deal with national issues and politics and still having to cope with the egos and disarray at home. With Gov. Chris Christie anxious to bury him, Menendez has a tough road when it comes time for re-election. This is why Hoboken/Union City Bob will put immense pressure on Stack to resurrect the home base,

Otherwise, there may be fewer people at the Pegasus next year.

Posted on: 2010/4/26 19:52
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Re: Property Taxes will increase as Jersey City introduces $507 Million budget
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GrovePath wrote:
From - HUDSON DEMOCRACY

Before voting for the budget, Heights Councilman Bill Gaughan said it was the "toughest year" to make a budget in his seventeen years on the council.



It was the toughest year because their feet were put to the fire.

Had we not gone down there, we wouldn't even have gotten this token reduction.

Lopez and Donnelly voted "No" because they were protected, the Council knew they had the votes they needed to pass the budget.

Posted on: 2010/4/23 0:22
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Re: Property Taxes will increase as Jersey City introduces $507 Million budget
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AVERAGE $572 A YEAR BOOST
Jersey City budget is approved; tax hike lower than January's figure but still sharp
Thursday, April 22, 2010
By MELISSA HAYES
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Jersey City has a budget that boosts taxes $572 a year for the owner of a property assessed at $100,000.

The $510 million spending plan was approved last night in a 5-3 vote.

The "nays" were council members David Donnelly, Steven Fulop and Nidia Lopez, while Council President Peter Brennan and colleagues Michael Sottolano, Mariano Vega, Bill Gaughan and Willie Flood voted for the budget, which covers the fiscal year that ends June 30.

Councilwoman Viola Richardson was absent.

Before voting 'no,' Lopez said she had met with department directors and reviewed the budget but didn't like the numbers.

"It did give me a sense of a lack of responsibility and leadership," Lopez said. "I look forward to having a more active role in the next budget if it's introduced on time."

Donnelly predicted "tougher times are ahead" before casting his "no" vote. "(Gov.) Chris Christie has already cut us $28 million," he said. "I am very fearful for the next year."

Fulop, however, took dead aim at officials inside City Hall.

"To blame economic times and to blame Chris Christie, and to blame anyone outside of this building, that's being disingenuous," he said.

Although the approved budget calls for a stiff hike in taxes, it represents an improvement from the budget introduced in January that would have socked the average homeowner with an $800-a-year increase.

The largest portion of the budget goes to public safety, $95.5 million to the Police Department and $66.3 million to fire and emergency services, not including benefits or pension payments.

The city also pays $34.76 million to the Police and Fire Retirement System; $2.1 million to the Public Employee Retirement System; and $5.66 million to the municipal retirement system.

Several residents questioned why accumulated absence funding was increased from $4.5 million to $8.4 million. Business Administrator Brian O'Reilly said that money has already been paid to retirees who accumulated unused sick and vacation time.

Sottolano, Brennan and Gaughan, who sat on a budget committee, pledged to begin work immediately on the coming fiscal year's budget.

Posted on: 2010/4/22 21:51
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The 11% is included in the $572. The year over year increase is about 22%.


Another 2K in the toilet for me.

Posted on: 2010/4/22 20:44
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The 11% is included in the $572. The year over year increase is about 22%.

Posted on: 2010/4/22 20:23
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Re: Property Taxes will increase as Jersey City introduces $507 Million budget
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So with this additional $572 per 100K assessed; how much of an increase in property taxes is it over last year? Also, hat is the total dollar amount of tax now per 100K assessed?

Someone said they went up 11% last year. Just trying to get a sense of the magnitude. Thanks for any info...

Posted on: 2010/4/22 18:37
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Mail it to his house in Spring Lake.

Posted on: 2010/4/22 16:03
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JRL wrote:
Bill Gaughan, yes you are right we are in tough times, however, thanks to the irresponsible decisions Team Healy Council members such as You, Brennan, Vega, Flood, Sottolano have made over the years are a good part of the reason Jersey City is in the situation regarding the budget.

Have you ever thought for one moment about taking responsibility for your poor decisions and how they would effect the residents.

Team Healy has used City Hall like their own ATM, and when they need more money, they just put the burden on the tax payers and raise taxes.

Has any of the Team Healy council proposed solutions? Of course not that means they would have work for the people.

Gaughan, I must ask, what tough times are you facing, multiple jobs, pensions, family members with jobs, you have county and city cars, have workers come over and trim your trees, all on the tax payers dime.
How much time do you really spend in Jersey City, compared to the time at you Spring Lake home at the shore where you have also drove your taxpayer car too from time to time.

Gaughan you have been on the city council the longest, for shame you should know better, I know you started out years ago for all the right reasons, but you have stayed for all the wrong reasons.


Very well said! A pity Gaughan likely won't see this...isn't he the one who believes the internet is for yuppies?

Posted on: 2010/4/22 14:17
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Re: Property Taxes will increase as Jersey City introduces $507 Million budget
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Bill Gaughan, yes you are right we are in tough times, however, thanks to the irresponsible decisions Team Healy Council members such as You, Brennan, Vega, Flood, Sottolano have made over the years are a good part of the reason Jersey City is in the situation regarding the budget.

Have you ever thought for one moment about taking responsibility for your poor decisions and how they would effect the residents.

Team Healy has used City Hall like their own ATM, and when they need more money, they just put the burden on the tax payers and raise taxes.

Has any of the Team Healy council proposed solutions? Of course not that means they would have work for the people.

Gaughan, I must ask, what tough times are you facing, multiple jobs, pensions, family members with jobs, you have county and city cars, have workers come over and trim your trees, all on the tax payers dime.
How much time do you really spend in Jersey City, compared to the time at you Spring Lake home at the shore where you have also drove your taxpayer car too from time to time.

Gaughan you have been on the city council the longest, for shame you should know better, I know you started out years ago for all the right reasons, but you have stayed for all the wrong reasons.


Quote:

GrovePath wrote:
From - HUDSON DEMOCRACY

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Council Approves Final Budget
Almost ten months into the fiscal year, the City Council approved a budget resolution for 2010 last night.

The Council's resolution included significant changes to the yearly spending plan submitted by Mayor Healy in January.

The resolution passed five to three. Journal Square Councilwoman Nidia Lopez, West Side Councilman David Donnelly and Downtown Councilman Steven Fulop voted against the budget.

The budget passed after more than eighty percent of the money it accounts for has already been spent; the city is funded through "temporary emergency appropriations" resolutions routinely approved by the City Council. The fiscal year ends July 1.

Total appropriations actually went up in the final budget, to $509,869,483 from $507,865,455. However, the final budget did cut the tax levy to just below the state limit, $185 million. Property taxes will increase $572 for every $100,000 of assessed value.

The Council's budget made some significant cuts from Mayor Healy's proposed budget.

The final spending plan cuts $2.5 million from the mayor's appropriation the the Police Department, $1.1 million from the Department of Health and Human Services and $1 million from the Department of Public Works.

Before voting for the budget, Heights Councilman Bill Gaughan said it was the "toughest year" to make a budget in his seventeen years on the council.

Fulop chastised the other members of the council for blaming outside forces, specifically the economic and Governor Christie, for the city's dire fiscal condition. Fulop pointed out that since the budget was balanced last year with one-time revenues from a pension deferral law and a $15 million settlement with Honeywell, it was apparent there would be an imbalance this year, requiring either large cuts or a tax increase.

Bergen-Lafayette Councilwoman Viola Richardson was absent from the meeting.

D.C.

Posted on: 2010/4/22 14:11
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Re: Property Taxes will increase as Jersey City introduces $507 Million budget
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Property taxes will increase $572 for every $100,000 of assessed value.



$572 vs the $800 per $100,000 assessed value originally proposed.

That, on top of an 11% increase last year.

It's too much, they have to be rolled back.

Posted on: 2010/4/22 11:27
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Re: Property Taxes will increase as Jersey City introduces $507 Million budget
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From - HUDSON DEMOCRACY

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Council Approves Final Budget
Almost ten months into the fiscal year, the City Council approved a budget resolution for 2010 last night.

The Council's resolution included significant changes to the yearly spending plan submitted by Mayor Healy in January.

The resolution passed five to three. Journal Square Councilwoman Nidia Lopez, West Side Councilman David Donnelly and Downtown Councilman Steven Fulop voted against the budget.

The budget passed after more than eighty percent of the money it accounts for has already been spent; the city is funded through "temporary emergency appropriations" resolutions routinely approved by the City Council. The fiscal year ends July 1.

Total appropriations actually went up in the final budget, to $509,869,483 from $507,865,455. However, the final budget did cut the tax levy to just below the state limit, $185 million. Property taxes will increase $572 for every $100,000 of assessed value.

The Council's budget made some significant cuts from Mayor Healy's proposed budget.

The final spending plan cuts $2.5 million from the mayor's appropriation the the Police Department, $1.1 million from the Department of Health and Human Services and $1 million from the Department of Public Works.

Before voting for the budget, Heights Councilman Bill Gaughan said it was the "toughest year" to make a budget in his seventeen years on the council.

Fulop chastised the other members of the council for blaming outside forces, specifically the economic and Governor Christie, for the city's dire fiscal condition. Fulop pointed out that since the budget was balanced last year with one-time revenues from a pension deferral law and a $15 million settlement with Honeywell, it was apparent there would be an imbalance this year, requiring either large cuts or a tax increase.

Bergen-Lafayette Councilwoman Viola Richardson was absent from the meeting.

D.C.

Posted on: 2010/4/22 5:48
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Re: Property Taxes will increase as Jersey City introduces $507 Million budget
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The current cap on increases is 3.5% and it applies to budget increases, not tax increases. There is a distinction between expenses that count towards the cap and those that don't. Most of the budgeted increases (most of the police and fire pension contributions, benefits, etc.) don't count towards the cap.

Last year's budget that applied to the cap was about $378 million, meaning that that portion of the budget can increase ~ $13 million without exceeding the cap.

Posted on: 2010/3/28 20:01
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What happened to the 4% rule, the amount of increase is in the 20% range? Now the governor is talking of it being 2.5%.

How is the petition going against having these taxes raised so much?

Posted on: 2010/3/28 18:12
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From Hudson Democracy

Very interesting to see Brennan taking a shot at Healy. Clear sign the administration's ship is taking on water: the rats are beginning to jump overboard.

Friday, March 26, 2010
Brennan Sees April 21 Budget Vote

City Council President Peter Brennan told me after Wednesday's meeting that he thinks the municipal budget will be ready for a final vote on April 21.

Brennan is the chairman of the council's budget committee.

The final budget ordinance, Brennan said, will have a tax levy of just under $185 million.

The budget proposed by Mayor Healy in January, added to the agenda of a regular City Council meeting minutes before the meeting began and without public notice, included a tax levy too large for state law.

Healy's budget proposed a tax levy of $195.2 million; under state law, the tax levy could be increased this year only to just about $185.1 million, up from $151.2 million last year.

Brennan said the budget committee succeeded where Mayor Healy apparently failed, and was able to trim the budget enough so the tax levy was at least under the state cap. It's still a tax increase of $34 million, and it's going to fall very hard on this city.

The City Council voted to introduce the mayor's budget the same evening he proposed it, and they voted apparently without reading it. Only Downtown Councilman Steven Fulop voted against it.

The city's budget process is a farce, it has been for years, and it's the mayor's fault. Mayor Healy doesn't work with the public on the budget, the process is opaque, and the budget is always inexcusably late.

Year after year, the administration's excuse is that it can't determine how much municipal aid it will be getting from Trenton.

This excuse has always been dubious. The state has to have a budget in place on day one of the fiscal year, meaning July 1. The state budget should give city officials at least a baseline for how much aid they can expect to receive.

For fiscal year 2011, the excuse is void. Governor Christie has made municipal aid a target of large cuts in next year's budget, and Jersey City knows what he is proposing: $63.8 million in municipal aid for our city, 17.5 percent less than this year. We might get more, but we won't get less?so let's get to work on a budget.

Because the way it is now is an insult to taxpayers. By the time the City Council votes on the budget, most of the money it accounts has already been spent under "emergency appropriations" ordinances the council regularly approves to fund city operations in place of a proper, transparent budget.

As of March, the city has already spent about $450 million in fiscal year 2010; the mayor's fiscal year 2010 budget proposes to spend only about $500 million.

In other words, the city government's budget deliberations involve only about ten percent of year's spending. The rest of the money has been spent.

D.C.

Posted on: 2010/3/26 16:51
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Re: Property Taxes will increase as Jersey City introduces $507 Million budget
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Interesting comments from Healy about a property tax increase just not being in the cards, from last Spring:

Levin says that by plugging budgets with one-shot infusions from PILOTs (Payments in Lieu of Taxes on tax abated properties), legal settlements, property sales, and, this year, the pension payment deferral, ?we?re just pushing off a property tax increase for the future.?
However, Healy says a property tax increase simply isn?t in the cards. He says his administration has ?restrained spending while seeking new sources of reoccuring revenue,? specifically a parking lot tax and a hotel tax, which together bring in close to $10 million per year. Going forward, he says, he ?will do everything possible to keep taxes stable.?

But Levin stresses the need to form a budget and a long-term financial plan that forces the city to live within its means. He says much of that can be done by cutting expenses citywide.

?We need to control our municipal spending,? Levin says. ?There?s no other alternative.?

He points to a number of areas for the city to save money, from cutting back on the automotive fleet provided to city employees, to reducing staffing levels to outsourcing services that could be better provided by other entities.

sources:

http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... opment-taxes-and-budgets/

http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... udgets-at-downtown-forum/

Posted on: 2010/2/2 22:54
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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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I am glad other people are now reading the budget. Many times I am the only "Public" to speak at a budget hearing. You must attend the hearing. Yes, police, firefighter, and pensions make up a large part of the budget. But also important is the bonding. The budget is a problem because of the games previous mayors play. Only interest is paid while they are in office, once they leave, then principal kicks in.

Posted on: 2010/2/2 22:30
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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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From my understanding with regards to the Fire Department, there is a Captain for every two fireman. Why can't a Captain have more fireman under him. Do we need that many Captains?

Quote:

srg1 wrote:
Wow. Am I correct in reading that literally 2/3 of the city budget is spent on fire, police and health insurance???

Posted on: 2010/2/2 22:21
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Re: Property Taxes will increase as Jersey City introduces $507 Million budget
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HOLY COW BATMAN....

This budget is making for some interesting reading.


I'm on page 37 of the PDF looking at salaries. They are UP over 2008.

City Clerk for example. in FY2009, Salaries = $857,200. Now, its $889,600. That's $32,400 increase. Who got hired during the hiring FREEZE?

And WTF. Where are the promised cuts. 10% cuts across the board.

NOT SEEING IT IN THE BUDGET.

Administrators office is up. Architecture is up. Mayor's Action Bureau is up. (This BUREAU should be eliminated.) Municipal court is up too... yet crime is down? less crime less courts? Nope.

A couple ones are down. Like in Purchasing. (keep cutting here please - no more purchases for Jersey City).

Also, noticed that revenues from offices are flat. Which is curious. And other revenues such as fees are flat or down too. Time to up fees and such to offices and developers. Also, big revenue line items from grants and such are blank. What, no homeland security funding this year?

Haven't even gotten to expenses yet. That should be fun. But thought I would chime in.

FG

Posted on: 2010/2/2 21:28
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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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Quote:

srg1 wrote:
Wow. Am I correct in reading that literally 2/3 of the city budget is spent on fire, police and health insurance???


Yes, when you go into the details the pension, health and retirement benefits are generous, this affects many towns across the country. This was one of the reasons Hoboken's taxes went up so much 2 years ago creating a taxpayer revolt.

Posted on: 2010/2/2 21:22
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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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Posted on: 2010/2/2 20:36
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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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Quote:

srg1 wrote:
Wow. Am I correct in reading that literally 2/3 of the city budget is spent on fire, police and health insurance???
can you give a page and source reference?

Posted on: 2010/2/2 20:04
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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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Wow. Am I correct in reading that literally 2/3 of the city budget is spent on fire, police and health insurance???

Posted on: 2010/2/2 19:53
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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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City Budget and Audit documents can be found here -

http://www.cityofjerseycity.com/pub-info.aspx?id=2430

Posted on: 2010/2/2 14:36
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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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The basic answer is Healy really does not care what the JC Residents have to say, therefore you cannot expect that he address the issue.

As much as there was a very good turn out at Wednesday's City Council meeting and the residents showing much anger and passion, if you watched their body language you could see they were trying to ignore the people, the suggestions made and most likely things fell on deaf ears and Healy and his council will try to continue to ignore the Jersey City Residents.
The Mayor and his Team are incompetent and a dysfunctional group. It seems they can't even be shamed, humiliated or embarrassed into doing the right thing for the Jersey City Residents.

But please don't give up, let's keep fighting them!

Quote:

srg1 wrote:
I have a basic question. In most cities, if a council meeting took place like the one we had last Wednesday, would the mayor say something to the public? Is it strange that Healy does not address the issue?

Posted on: 2010/2/1 20:57
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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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I have a basic question. In most cities, if a council meeting took place like the one we had last Wednesday, would the mayor say something to the public? Is it strange that Healy does not address the issue?

Posted on: 2010/2/1 16:43
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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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Unfortunately the most powerful message is sent by not living in new construction downtown. Or new construction anywhere in JC. These condos are the most taxed. There's a great response in the 30 year crime low thread about how the horrid taxes downtown are causing people to shift to other areas of jersey city. these people wind up being very proactive about keeping their blocks safe, be it thru neighborhood associations or vigilant calls to the police. This will, in time, make other areas of JC nice. So, even if in the immediate future you cannot vote out the politician who will raise you taxes out office now, you can kick 'em in the ass by shifting locale.

Posted on: 2010/2/1 4:29
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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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I just don't understand how this is supposed to do anything. The people voted in incompetent individuals who only ran to make extra money off the city both legally and illegally. These council members (save Fulop) have no idea what they are doing. Don't some of them sleep through meetings? Even if they wanted to do something, they would have no idea where to start and no idea how to follow through. And where is Healy through all of this? Getting wasted at the local bar?

Posted on: 2010/2/1 4:25
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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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Posted on: 2010/2/1 0:54
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