Remember the beginning of the property tax hell in Hoboken?

Thought some of you might want to see where it all began – with this video message from former Mayor David Roberts back in 2008.

Massive Tax Increase Coming to Hoboken NJ!

10/17/2008:

Dave Roberts’ budget chickens have come home to roost, and it means millions more tax dollars will be coming out of the pockets of Hoboken taxpayers.

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Many people have been warning for years the Mayor’s irresponsible spending practices were building up a house of cards that would someday crash down on every taxpayer. As the budget grew from $52 million to over $100 million those warnings were ignored and mocked by members of the City Council who ran with Roberts and supported his political agenda. Now, the jig is up and YOU get to pay the bill.

Fiscal monitor draws the line, you pay

Newly appointed State Fiscal Monitor Judy Tripodi sent a letter to the City Council outlining her plan to clean up the Roberts mess. To the shock of many, it will include a massive and immediate tax increase. Tripodi’s letter also included a strong rebuke of Roberts’ budget tricks of the past:

“The city cannot continue to underfund its cost of operations, rely on one-shot revenue anticipation and artificially maintain an insufficient tax levy.”

Sound familiar? It’s what many Roberts critics including council members Beth Mason, Peter Cunningham, and Theresa Castellano have been saying for several years. One-shot tricks like refinancing the Municipal Garage over and over again, raiding the Parking Authority’s surplus, refinancing long term bonds so they cost less in the short term but balloon in later years, and more have hidden the true explosion in spending. It can’t be hidden anymore. Roberts’ inability to hide the fact that he overspent his budget by nearly $12 million last year was the last straw, The Mayor’s running mates Ruben Ramos, Terry LaBruno and Peter Cammarano pushed the Roberts spending agenda for years, and now we are going to pay for it.

What is this going to mean for my tax bill?

In 2002 the total tax levy was about $17 million. By last year Roberts had doubled it to $34 million. This year by order of Tripodi it jumps to $65 million. This means a huge tax increase beginning this quarter. Your tax bill is broken up into three parts: The City portion, the Board of Education portion, and the Hudson County portion which up to now have essentially divided the full amount into thirds. The school and county portion will be relatively stable, but your city portion will NEARLY DOUBLE.

For example, let’s take a property tax bill of $10,000 a year. If your last quarterly tax bill was $2500, your next one will be closer to $3375. That’s right, an extra $875 per quarter to pay the Dave Roberts tax. This tax increase will be in effect for a minimum of two quarters so the city can fully fund this year’s budget and pay for the costs associated with last fiscal year’s budget debacle.

The rub? This doesn’t even include the entire remaining $10 million budget deficit from last fiscal year! How that gets paid for is apparently a discussion for another day as Tripodi continues to review the city’s finances, so there is more pain ahead.

Who gets hit the hardest?

If you live in subsidized housing you won’t pay this bill. If you live in a PILOT’ed condo within a redevelopment zone you won’t pay this bill. If you own a condo that pays full taxes and is assessed at a much higher rate than most rowhouses and brownstones, you will be hit the hardest. For years the Hoboken power structure has sucked cash out of condo owners while allowing big apartment landlords and old-school homeowners to pay less than their fair share of the tax burden. More on that another day….