Massive tax increase: Came & stayed!

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.

hoboken-mayor-david-roberts-chickens-coming-home-to-roost.jpg

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….

192 Responses

  1. MidnightRacer says:

    Well, I paid my taxes.

    Why does it not feel any different than someone mugging you? Both are dressed in black clothing and demand money of which you have no choice but to hand over.

    BTW, the money I just paid could have gone into the economy for presents in December. Now it just goes to larger government that doesn’t do squat.

  2. taxed_to_death says:

    Two questions. I think I know the answer to the second one.: 1) Does anyone know when we will get the official news that the ‘temporary’ increase will remain for 2009 tax bills? 2) By my recollection the Quimby debacle became fully apparent last April/May. We are now almost halfway through fiscal year 2009. Has anything been done to reduce spending for this year?

    Although we all are outraged (justifiably) at City Hall, an equal if not greater source of waste and abuse is the Board of Education. A relatively small block of voters (i.e., BoE employees and their families) ensure that pig keeps getting fatter. Hopefully next election to ratify their budget can change that.

  3. Skywalker says:

    [quote comment=”121045″]The Bloomberg article sugar coats the whole thing. It touches on the disparity between us an another town, but the link to corruption and waste ends there. :thumbsdown: to the person that wrote that article. You had the chance to expose A LOT of corruption and you didn’t.[/quote]
    Did you really expect an in-depth Bloomberg story about Hoboken?

    The Hoboken ‘beat’ is a once-in-a-while story for an international news service like Bloomberg — bringing corruption to light entails having someone on the ground in Hoboken as an ongoing, every-day thing. So realistically, the only journalistic outlets that can possibly produce such as expose are the Hoboken Rept’er or a local website like this one.

  4. truth1 says:

    Mayor Roberts overspent the budget for 6 years and the city council went along with it. The Mayor appointed the Directors and Administrators (with the advice and consent of the council) who did not hold their staff accountable or responsible. Bottom line ❗

  5. Stpaddygirl says:

    I feel bad for those who lost their jobs and now have to come up with this additional money. Its bad enough for me but at least there is a steady paycheck coming in (at least for now).

    Also, kudos to those who spoke at the recent Town Council meeting I watched on tv this weekend and really enjoyed listening to the public speakers.

  6. Tama Murden says:

    Re 175.: Strand, taking it to the Rant. Where your posts most always belong.

  7. strand tramp says:

    FU, you psycho, as always!

  8. CastlePointWatcher says:

    Anyone who wants to fight their property taxes (and may win) here is the 2009 Ratio information:

    state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/pdf/lpt/chap123/chap123hud.pdf

    NOTE: You are more likely to do well with this is you bought more recently (say, 5 years-ish).

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

  9. CastlePointWatcher says:

    Curious:

    Do people still care about the grave injustice that our City has relegated on us?

    Or is it like everything else? Do we loose interest, and move on to the next NFL game, etc.?

    Just wondering…

  10. seashell says:

    I’m new, please pardon me if this has already been established. A friend/client is purchasing a little 1 bedroom in Hoboken, so of course we are anxious about this issue. I see that the most recent posts were from months ago. Has anything been resolved regarding the tax hike? What exactly is the rub regarding demanding a town wide reassessment? Can everyone here on 411 file an appeal? It’s unfortunate that this seems to have died away – unless the problem has been solved? With the assistance of her real estate agent and attorney, she had built an appeal into her purchase agreement. I figure (hope!) that will help her, but are you guys all doing your part? I just looked up an old friend who lives in town. As much as I love her, I’m a little horrified to find that she owns a brownstone assessed in the mid-$200s (huh?) and pays around $6k per year in property taxes. She only bought her place about 12 years ago, so she’s not an “old school” resident and she certainly isn’t part of the old boys political machine. I’m just floored at the disparity! The taxes on the 650′ square foot 1 bedroom being purchased? Just under $5k!

    • homeworld says:

      I believe the deadline to appeal was back in May of this year. I appealed my increase and got a $1500 credit on my Q3&4 property tax bill.

      In response to seashell who said:

      I’m new, please pardon me if this has already been established. A friend/client is purchasing a little 1 bedroom in Hoboken, so of course we are anxious about this issue. I see that the most recent posts were from months ago. Has anything been resolved regarding the tax hike? What exactly is the rub regarding demanding a town wide reassessment? Can everyone here on 411 file an appeal? It’s unfortunate that this seems to have died away – unless the problem has been solved? With the assistance of her real estate agent and attorney, she had built an appeal into her purchase agreement. I figure (hope!) that will help her, but are you guys all doing your part? I just looked up an old friend who lives in town. As much as I love her, I’m a little horrified to find that she owns a brownstone assessed in the mid-$200s (huh?) and pays around $6k per year in property taxes. She only bought her place about 12 years ago, so she’s not an “old school” resident and she certainly isn’t part of the old boys political machine. I’m just floored at the disparity! The taxes on the 650′ square foot 1 bedroom being purchased? Just under $5k!

  11. Stabone130 says:

    Castle Point Watcher:

    Can you explain how to read the chart you shared the link for above?

Leave a Reply