Budget amendment retains $5 million surplus, tax reduction of 3.6%

The new budget amendment, the final amendment in a late process with heavy politics looming large over months passed along party lines as expected 5-4.

Councilman Peter Cunningham said, “We have to be prudent and smart,” noting strides in tax reductions made but without putting the city in a lurch.

Councilwoman Beth Mason complained about the amendment’s presentation being late to her and later called the budget “political” adding the money from the surplus should be returned to the taxpayers in its entirety reading from a prepared statement.

Council President Ravi Bhalla differed with Councilman Russo who attacked the mayor’s budget saying this was a responsible reduction in taxes putting Hoboken in a better position than most other municipalities in NJ.

Difference maker: 6th ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino said she ran on a platform for
a 5% surplus and would vote accordingly.  Few words but her vote carried a big stick. 

Talking Ed Note: Retirements have added about a half million in costs and another group of expenses resulted in an increased tax levy reducing the planned second tax cut of 5% to 3.6%.

MSV has not been able to verify the final exact tax reduction but the figure of 3.6% is probably correct based on some post meeting discussion.

– Posted at full gallop

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