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Re: Won't see tax bills until after election!
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I have been saying this for a time. The public hearing was in March. The city received its OK to bond for public pensions a week later. The only reason to hold up the budget is because of a tax increase. Mind you, this budget was due for introduction July 2008, nearly a year ago. We changed the budget years to match the state and our government is doing a lousy job in fiscal management. How can government cut spending if the budget year is already over!
Yvonne

Posted on: 2009/4/27 14:59
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Won't see tax bills until after election!
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Won't see tax bills until after election
Monday, April 27, 2009
By AMY SARA CLARK
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
Jersey City taxpayers are not likely to receive second quarter tax bills until after they pull the lever in the May 12 municipal elections.

The bills are scheduled to be sent out on May 11 - the day before the elections and three weeks later than last year, city officials confirmed last week.

Why the delay?

City officials said it all has to do with the city's application for special municipal aid from the state, which delayed the introduction and adoption of a final spending plan for the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2008 and will end on June 30. The council introduced their budget on Feb 9.

The state announced on April 14 that the city would receive $5 million in special municipal aid, $2.2 million less than what the city had requested, city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said.

The city spent a week trying to get state officials to bump up the amount, she said. But state officials would not budge and the city had to cut its budget, get the City Council to approve the changes and then hold final budget hearings, Morrill said.

Because of the need to advertise the hearings properly under the state Sunshine Law, the public hearing and final vote is scheduled for May 7.

Officials said it takes about two business days to print and mail the bills, so they are not likely to be sent out until May 11. This means most taxpayers will receive the bills after the May 12 municipal election.

Taxpayers will then have 25 days to pay, city Tax Collector Maureen Cosgrove said.

City Clerk Robert Byrne said the public hearing could have been moved up if not for conflicts with the City Council Chambers, he only room large enough to hold public hearings. The Historic Preservation Commission has the room booked on May 4, the Planning Board on the 5th, and there is a graduation ceremony on the 6th, he said.

As to having the meeting elsewhere, Byrne said, "Then we would be criticized for holding a budget hearing in an alternate site."

Morrill - whose boss, Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy is up for re-election on May 12 - insisted there was no political reason for the delay because there is no municipal tax hike in the bill.

But at least one mayoral hopeful sees a politically-timed glitch.

"Clearly in the last month every action taken by the city has been geared toward the election," said David Cruz, a spokesman for Assemblyman Harvey Smith, who is a mayoral candidate.

"If it were going to be a tax cut," Cruz added, "then you can be sure that the mayor would have made sure that people would have gotten (the bills) already."





Does anybody really believe there is nothing political about the timing of the tax bills?

Posted on: 2009/4/27 10:35
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