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Hoboken reval rhetoric

Council seeks to terminate “rolling reassessment” in Hoboken

Zimmer misled council members, no transparency…

Hoboken City Council members Beth Mason, Theresa Castellano, Michael Russo and Tim Occhipinti called on “mayor” Zimmer today to cancel the City of Hoboken’s rolling reassessment program. The proposed rolling reassessment program would require the City of Hoboken to reevaluate properties on an annual basis. In addition, the program would require Hoboken properties be reevaluated according to market trends and values.

Hoboken Property Taxes

“Zimmer’s rolling reassessment program will not reduce our city’s tax burden,” said Councilwoman Mason. “This will lead to yet another tax increase for Hoboken residents. We should immediately terminate the contract of the firm the Mayor supported to conduct the rolling revaluation program.”

Earlier this year, Zimmer sought and received state approval to establish the rolling reassessment program before consulting the City Council. Her administration submitted a resolution to hire the same company that conducted the 2013 property tax revaluation, but the resolution failed to specify that it was for a new rolling reassessment program.

As a result of the rolling reassessment program, if properties are sold over market value or when building permits are taken out by a homeowner to make an improvement the Zimmer Administration will be able to increase property taxes on a continual basis.

As usual, Zimmer kept the independent thinkers on the City Council in the dark. Zimmer’s record on taxes is one that she should find very embarrassing. She promised to cut property taxes by 25% within 90 days of taking office and failed to do so, she blew a $25 million surplus on patronage and wasteful spending, and then her allies on the Hoboken Board of Education voted to take away the public’s right to vote on the school budget. I guess this is the latest chapter in her terrible track record,” said Councilwoman Theresa Castellano.

“We were elected to put the best interest of our constituents first, and I cannot support a program that runs the risk of increasing taxes on our residents,” said Councilman Russo. “I am committed to working with my colleagues to cut wasteful spending and provide much-needed tax relief for our families. She continues to point out that the County overtaxes residents, and it appears that her solution is to join the party and overtax residents at the municipal level as well. It is absolutely absurd.”

“Zimmer was the poster child for Governor Christie’s two-percent property taxes cap. However, patronage hires, skyrocketing legal costs, and fiscal mismanagement have rendered her unable to live within that two-percent cap. Instead, the Mayor is using this rolling revaluation as a way to circumvent the very property tax cap that she traveled the state to support. Evidently when her opinion of Governor Christie changed, so did her support for the two-percent cap,” Councilman Occhipinti said.

At the December 2nd City Council meeting Council members Mason, Castellano, Russo, and Occhipinti will introduce a resolution to terminate the professional services contract of the firm hired to conduct the rolling revaluation program. To date, the revaluation program has cost Hoboken taxpayers $680,000 and will top over $1 million in the next four years.

Property Taxes and Values – a sticky situation in Hoboken

A bunch of people asked me about this last week, as a lot of residents are scrambling to get a handle on their property taxes, the whole “assessment” process the city is fiddling with and more.

Is there anything “fair” about property tax assessment in Hoboken?

But I’d like to remind people – that rather than arguing over how much YOU pay – I think there are more disturbing issues to tackle, like determining a truly FAIR way to subsidize such an ineffective “corporation” called the City of Hoboken.

  • For one, as we cited an example earlier this year, a family of four living in a $350k condo pays a lot less than a single individual living in a $950k condo – yet uses significantly more of the city resources. That single fact alone makes their method of calculating the “contributions” a property-owning resident should make completely INVALID. Perpetually punishing someone because of what they can afford is just not sustainable. This is a lot different than a “sales tax.” When people start putting their heads together to crack this nut, then it makes sense to further the discussion.
  • Additionally, now the city wants to blow through hundreds of thousands of dollars to ANNUALLY INSPECT the properties! What kind of INVASION OF PRIVACY is that? Do you want that much government intrusion? It’s off-the-charts ridiculous, and I can sense another “revolt” amongst the residents brewing.

What sucks beyond belief – is the fact that all of you think you “own” your property. You don’t. You’re “renting” from the city.

When election time rolls around again, maybe there will be an intelligent candidate who will deliver a significantly smaller government and way to generate revenue that doesn’t OVER TAX the residents into poverty.

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Mad World Hoboken

It sure is a Mad World in Hoboken!

I heard this song the other day, and it reminded me of this post from many years ago, advising residents that the video was shot here in Hoboken back in 2004.

As 411 reader Cory said: “I was doing my daily duty of procrastinating and looking up videos on Youtube when I came across something that pretty much blew my mind. After listening to the song ‘Mad World’ by Gary Jules on my iPod, I decided to look for the music video. Lo and behold, I realized halfway into the video that it was shot in Hoboken!

Yes, what you see in the music video is Church Square Park from Garden St. between 4th and 5th!”

I forgot to add the exterior shot of AJ Demarest School to put the whole thing into perspective, so this is the view from the “bottom up.”

But one thing that has definitely changed in the 10 years since that video was made is that Church Square Park is now essentially Church Square Playground.

Demarest School Hoboken NJ

City drags feet on public health issues

Letter: Hoboken drags feet on public health concerns despite injuries

All the “hot air” and good news that comes out of this administration, but it seems as if quality of life is on decline nonetheless. Hoboken resident Melissa Blanco has been holding the administration to the fire, with barely a tepid response. See what’s going on now (hint: it’s a stinky situation…)

public health garbage issues Hoboken NJ

Warning: Injuries and damages due to poor public health!

You might be interested to know, that while our local public health officials and the non-Zimmer Council minority do recognize the risks and liabilities of our lack of public health compliance, they describe to me that “their hands are tied” without a majority of Council member and Zimmer support.

I have not only put the Council on notice about the increasing risks and the populations of various disease causing animals, but I have also recommended the solution. My first letter was written nine months ago. I have steadily followed up with council appearances and additional letters. As you know, in April, the County stepped in to clear our streets of months of filth – but this was only an interim solution.

Last night, my dog was injured and sprayed by one of the many skunks feasting on the garbage in the streets of Hoboken. I am still dealing with the de-skunking and am concerned for the injuries my dog sustained even though she is up to date on all vaccines.

skunk public health problems hoboken NJ This week, I called each council member. Mr. Bhalla said he would “do his best.” When pressed, he said he would talk to his other Council members. I replied that he needed to do much better, that this was gross negligence since the Council had been put on Notice and there were now injuries. I think we all know, that had this been one of his constituents that voted for Zimmer, that the City would be out with bull horns in the street, quickly cautioning residents and letting property owners know that their garbage must be in cans with tightly closed lids.

When I discussed the matter with our public health official, Fran Sasso, he said his hands were tied if the Council would do nothing. The City’s only response to date has been to cut the garbage collection, appoint additional Zimmer-aligned individuals to boards and suggest that we vote for more of their cohorts.

The City is required by law to provide for adequate public health. Towns with vermin problems, generally, have ordinances requiring garbage cans with sealed lids and furthermore fine those who do not comply. Hoboken, I am told by, tells owners to remove lids and also allows plastic bags openly on curbs. Sanitation is a fairly simple matter to correct, yet our Council instead choses to spend its time on electrical trash cans and bonding for meters to raise revenue in the same residential areas that they do not provide essential services for.

Now with a formal report of actual damages and injuries, we have both the health risk and the additional legal liability for the City ignoring its duties regarding public health.

Sincerely,
Melissa Blanco

Hoboken Paint & Hardware

Hoboken Paint & Hardware closes after 23 years (doubled rent!)

Another long-time Hoboken business is now gone. Hoboken Paint & Hardware at 316 Washington Street is officially closed. Gotta love the way “mayor” don Zimmer is going out of her way to keep great businesses in town. As chain store after chain store open, what made Hoboken unique with places like this, close up shop. “Great Downtowns” my ass!

Hoboken Paint and Hardware closing

They had everything you could possibly need for the upkeep of your home or apartment. Little nuts & bolts. Light bulbs. Tools, fasteners, hooks, paint, and much more. And they were the ONLY Hoboken hardware store open on Sunday. Now if you need an emergency part or plumbing supply – you’ll have to figure out how to get to Home Depot.

The rent apparently was doubling to around $20,000 per month. But I’m sure if an Apple store opens up there, most of you will be thrilled. Because what more do you need in life? /sarc.

If you happen to be walking by and they’re open – everything inside is 50% off.

Hoboken Paint and Hardware doomed thanks to zimmer

Description: Paint & Hardware. Essentially vacant now.
Address: 316 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Telephone: 201-222-0003

Outsmarting the MTA transit system

Hoboken to NYC commuters – learn this tip today!

Thousands of Hoboken residents commute to and work in New York City – and often use the MTA NYC Transit System (and the corresponding “Metro Card” for payment.)

And I’m sure more than one of you has been in a hurry only to find out that you come up a nickel short on your fare, and miss your train as a result. Damnit! Why is that? Well, apparently it’s by design.

I Quant NY shares a simple tip – that instead of using the “pre-populated” purchase options when buying your MetroCard (i.e., $19.00) that you manually type the amount (in this case $19.05), and it will give you an exact number of rides – instead of some “leftover change.” They break down the fare amounts in an easy chart for your reference on their website.

And as a result of this “bad math,” the MTA receives $50 million dollars a year in unredeemed balances! That’s lottery money for God’s sake. Imagine if that was put to good use and out of the hands of some inept government agency?

411 Note: While this is certainly a helpful tip – I liken this to gas in your gas tank. NEVER let your gas go down below 1/4 tank, and people should learn to do the same on their metro cards. Better yet – use the EasyPay Xpress option and never worry about your MetroCard balance. But we understand some people live paycheck to paycheck, or don’t trust their financial info in the hands of morons.

Outsmarting MTA subway metro card NYC

(h/t Rob for the info!)

Genuine Hoboken Oil!

“Toxic” Situation near Neumann Leathers in Hoboken?

Well, several concerned citizens contacted Hoboken411 to share what they believe is “toxic” situation going on downtown near the Neumann Leathers.

Neumann Leather Oil Daves Auto Hoboken NJ construction mishap

Former Dave’s Auto Parts a bit oily

Apparently, construction happening at the former NAPA – Dave’s Auto Parts location at Newark and Willow – also comes with a boatload of yummy oil underground that has surely “added character” to the neighborhood for years and years!

Oil Leak Hoboken NJ Daves Auto Parts

How bad can it be? Can it hurt property values?

This type of situation appears to be standard in Hoboken, wouldn’t you say? I mean half the town is toxic, considering the industrial history in days past. And it hasn’t seemed to put a damper on the Real Estate market. Shit, we have mercury lots, and other sites with petroleum-based toxins – and I haven’t noticed anyone with three eyeballs yet.

But should downtown residents be worried? If not for their property values, but for their health?

Neumann Leathers Oil Leak Hurting Property Values in Hoboken NJ