What is the real tax increase?
Hoboken411 reader and contributor estevens chimes in with the “final piece of the puzzle” regarding Hoboken’s property tax bills…
It’s still more than before!
“I just received my 2nd quarter tax bill for 2009, which was the last piece of the puzzle I needed to determine exactly what Hoboken’s property tax increase really was.
We now have four consecutive quarters at the new, post-state-takeover property taxation rate. Again, there are many ways to “figger the figgers,” but I feel that the best way to calculate the percentage increase is to compare Fiscal Year 2009 (which runs July 2008 to June 2009) to Fiscal Year 2008, which ended in June 2008 – just before the arrival of Judy Tripodi and the tax increase.
In doing so, I’ve determined that the overall tax increase from FY08 to FY09 was 30%. That factors in school and county taxes, which stayed relatively flat.
The municipal (city only) tax increase from FY08 to FY09 was 76%. Again, if we had to pay off last year’s overspending this year ($11.7M), rather than spreading it over 7 years, our municipal taxes would have been another 8% higher, and that’s allowing for this year’s portion of the deficit payback AND the $6M tax reserve we had to pay into, most of which we should (?) get back next year in surplus.
Next up…the FY 2010 budget and whatever that may bring.
See Roberts stumbling and fumbling on video, after the jump!
With Mayor Roberts trying to downplay the fiscal pain the residents have been suffering through – Hoboken411 reader estevens sheds some light on what’s really going on.
23% or 47%? Which is it?
So Mayor David Roberts and Fiscal Monitor Judy Tripodi held a press conference this Tuesday to announce that the reported 47% property tax increase was in error and that 2008 taxation was only 23% higher than 2007. That’s technically correct, but it is relatively meaningless and does not accurately reflect taxation going forward. The actual number is somewhere between 32% and 36%, depending on how you look at it.
The Mayor’s “new calculation” takes advantage of the fact that 2008 taxes weren’t increased until halfway through the year. Taxes paid in 2008 do not accurately reflect current taxation.
[Remember, we’re talking about total property taxes, which include school and county taxes. The city portion of the tax levy jumped 67% from 2007 to 2008, and even that does not truly reflect current taxation – city taxes have nearly doubled, based on the past three quarterly tax bills vs 2007]
(Hoboken Taxes, continued…)
Do the math!
Use my taxes as an example:
2006 Q3 $2011 (FY07)
2006 Q4 $2011 (FY07)
2007 Q1 $2011 (FY07)
2007 Q2 $2057 (FY07)
2007 Q3 $2057 (FY08)
2007 Q4 $1847 (FY08)
TOTAL 2007: $7972
2008 Q1 $2140 (FY08)
2008 Q2 $2196 (FY08)
2008 Q3 $2734 (FY09)
2008 Q4 $2734 (FY09) [48% higher than 2007 Q4]
TOTAL 2008 $9805 [23% higher than 2007]
2009 Q1 $2680 (FY09)
2009 Q2 $???? (FY09)
Notice that taxes jumped with the 3rd quarter 2008 tax bill. That’s because the city’s fiscal year (FY), or budget year, begins July 1 and ends June 30, while quarterly tax bills are based on the calendar year. In other words, the first two quarterly bills of 2008 were artificially low, as they reflect the tax levy set by the last two quarters of the underfunded FY08 budget. Using those two quarters, we also calculate a total increase of 23% for the 2008 calendar year over 2007. That figure does not accurately reflect the tax increase. The 47% value initially provided by the city’s finance department and reported in the press was likely a comparison between Q4 taxes for 2007 and 2008 and does not accurately reflect the tax increase either.
2008 Q3 through 2009 Q1 more accurately represents our new tax rate per the Judy Tripodi plan. We have not yet had four consecutive quarters at the new rate; however, if we use those last three quarters to estimate the next quarter due (2009 Q2), total FY09 taxes will be 32% higher than FY08 and 36% higher than in calendar year 2007. Without substantial cuts in spending, the remainder of FY09 is likely to stay at that level of taxation, as will FY10. In fact, Judy has stated that we will never go back to the FY07 levy.
Bear in mind that had Judy Tripodi not arranged for spreading the payment of the FY08 overspending/underfunding ($11.7M) over 7 years, and had she not negotiated our uncollected tax reserve down to $6M from $8M, the FY09 budget and our last three tax bills would have been considerably higher. Moreover, we will still pay that tax increase, but we’ll be paying it through 2015.