Hoboken budget finalized with 1.8% annual increase

The Hoboken municipal budget passed last night on a party line 5-3 vote resulting in a nominal tax increase of 1.8%.

The increase, the first since a state takeover back before the turn of the decade under the late fiscal monitor Judy Tripodi represents the first shift from consistent reduced taxes in the last five years. 

Hoboken overall is the beneficiary of a tax reduction of 10% in that timeframe putting it in very small company compared to over 500 New Jersey municipalities in the last five years.

This is Hoboken’s first tax increase since Mayor Dawn Zimmer took office in 2009. The decision is partly due to a desire to finally achieve a surplus in range where financing is achieved at lower rates for same. Employee related costs in health care benefits is also a driver in the final budget figures.

Last year’s budge surplus was a miserly 3% versus the minimum target of 5% finance agencies have typically sought for municipalities to obtain favorable borrowing rates.

Hoboken’s credit rating has seen a boost with the most recent change seeing an AA+ rating from Standard and Poors last December. 

The dramatic improvement from one level above junk bond status back in 2008 is one of the City’s biggest achievements in recent years.

Hudson County taxes have hammered Hoboken in recent years and make up the largest portion of resident’s tax bill seeing double digit increases. The Hoboken BoE earlier this year announced an increase of 3.9% making the City of Hoboken’s small increase the lowest across a bleak board.

Penny pinchers – Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Finance Director Solomon Steplight
saw a small tax increase of 1.8% approved in the City Council Wednesday night.
The increase represents the first tax hike in municipal taxes since Mayor Zimmer took
office in August 2009 versus a 10% decrease overall since she became mayor.

Talking Ed Note: The Old Guard council typically votes against the budget no matter what so this year’s vote comes as no surprise. They however also typically fail to show up for spring budget hearings nor propose any budget amendments at all.

They do lots of squawking. Savings for squawking come in annually at $0 each year.

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