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BREAKING: Mayor Zimmer announces additional 5% tax cut, savings on agreement with police unions

Mayor Dawn Zimmer issued a letter to the Hoboken City Council announcing her budget proposal with an additional tax cut of 5% for this fiscal year.

In addition, an agreement with the Police Unions will save an additional $700,000 over the previous plan proposed by Fiscal Monitor Judy Tripodi.  Compared to the fiscal monitor’s proposed collective bargaining agreement, an additional savings of $200,000 annually is expected moving forward.  The savings are a comparison including the necessary retroactive pay to the police who have operated without a contract the last several years.

A political battle has been brewing for months on how to treat the budget surplus, even as the figure was politicized with an inaccurate $20 million figure being stated by Council members Beth Mason and Tim Occhipinti in the last budget.  The budget surplus in this fiscal year reached $14.7 million and last year’s totaled $10 million after two million was returned as part of Mayor Zimmer’s initial 5% tax cut.

As Hoboken heads into council ward elections this May, a game of chicken was being played out with the Mayor asking the Council what figure they had in mind to retain.  Beth Mason refused to answer saying in an earlier letter the mayor was charged with presenting a budget.

Mayor Zimmer is now looking to deliver a full 10% tax cut to Hoboken taxpayers while finalizing a union agreement with the police unions.

Now that budget is on the table for the next Council meeting Wednesday night, Hoboken will see what value the City Council can bring.  Two workshops are scheduled for March but there’s been no discussion or proposal of additional cuts to provide any substantial savings.

The letter and City Council documents for next Wednesday’s meeting are available at the City of Hoboken website:
http://www.hobokennj.org/council/council-documents-2011/

Mayor’s Budget Letter 2-25-11

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