Dueling Hoboken Tax Mailers!
NOT an April Fool’s Joke, either…
Angry Hoboken property taxpayers got some unhappy news in the mail this week. First was the “Reconciled” 2nd quarter tax bill, with numbers that went up yet again. Why? Because the Mayor and her City Council majority failed to deliver on their campaign promise to cut taxes 25%.
The budget adopted two weeks ago reduces taxes by a fraction of a percent and actually spends millions more dollars than the proposed budget introduced in December.
Now the spin continues…
Taking a cue from former Mayor Dave Roberts, Dawn Zimmer included a letter to taxpayers with the bills.
Second ward Councilwoman Beth Mason sent out a flier explaining why she voted no on the budget, declaring: “Mayor Zimmer’s repeated promises to cut taxes by 25% have vanished in a fog of overdue budgets, overspending, and more of the same fiscal mismanagement that has plagued Hoboken for years.”
Meanwhile, the letter from Zimmer seems to follow the same scripted talking points of Budget and Finance Committee Chair Michael Lenz and Planning Board member Keith Furman. Along with the hackneyed “kick the can down the road” language repeated by Lenz and Furman, you’ll see Zimmer repeat their claim her budget is “honest.” The Mayor also blames $6 million in costs “having nothing to do with the cost of running the city this year” for her inability to deliver on her tax cut promises.
There are two obvious reasons why this is bogus.
First, the biggest chunk – $4.2 million for the botched Roberts early retirement plan – is a bill Zimmer knew was coming due well before she claimed to have “A detailed plan to cut municipal taxes by 25% in the first year alone.” Second, even Zimmer admits $6 million is only 10% of the tax levy, so what happened to the other 15% she said she had a “detailed plan” to cut?
Like I said, this is no April fools joke. It’s the sad reality of Hoboken’s taxes today, which also happens to be the last day to file a Tax Appeal. Word on the street is there may be even more appeals than last year, shifting even more of he burden onto those who haven’t appealed their assessments.
At least the weather is pleasant…