Nick Trasante Finance Director – more on taxes, details
Credits will be showing in taxes for the 3rd and 4th quarter but they will show on the tax bill into early next year.
Taxes credited for people who have appealed successfully
Taxes not anticipated in this year that are collected re: construction.
Councilman Lenz is saying any surplus (3.4MM collected) gets rolled over in the following year per NJ law. The State allowed Hoboken to use 300K for unanticipated expenditure.
“Irresponsible to use all your surplus.” – Should “Regenerate it year by year.”
Nick Trasente, Finance Director
Councilman Lenz – “control taxes by controlling spending”
– Going to County for bonding and their rating saved Hoboken several percentage points.
Councilman Giacchi asks for a summary:
Judy Tripodi email explained how the 8% is about $360 per 160K of assessed value. That is only the municipal portion. The County and BOE are variables the city doesn’t control.
Councilman Ravi Bhalla is interested in more reductions in costs for salary & wages.
Asked for details. Headcount reductions are 15-20 over the year all told.
About 7-8 positions were added, some in demand and some to satisfy state requirement.
Their total cost is only half built in to the overall budget.
Councilman Russo is equating the two categories. It is still an overall reduction.
Councilman Ravi Bhalla
Salary & wages, and operating expenses not reduced based on his view. He’s asking for more on what heads of departments were asked to do. Nick Trisante explained the overall review and identification process. Indicates the Mayor had asked for 10% reductions.
Councilman Bhalla is suggesting the fiscal monitor could have been more aggressive in this area.
Going through the savings of 1MM in insurance costs. Indicating the additional benefit in using in and out-of-network insurance options for employees. This is an unknown dollar savings for both active and retired employees. Some needs to be sorted out in contract negotiations.
3MM retro pay is part of the older wages not paid for yet.
Asking about the cost in the negotiations and how the numbers are calculated for budget purposes. Retro pay factored in but is not final. Councilman is interested in the increases in retro pay and how that meets up with current reality of economic hardship: 10%+ unemployment, etc. Says it’s “tough to swallow.”
Councilwoman Marsh – looking for debt service details. Trisante is saying a longer timeframe was requested. Fine with firetruck being done over time as typical. Wants to see what additional typical items for forecasting.
Council President Cunningham – wants year to year department analysis with any cuts. Trisante says he’ll give him a year to year comparison in spending figures in 2009 vs. 2010. He’s asking for efficiencies and disappointed there wasn’t any efficiency audits for police, fire, parking, environment services, etc. Giving a heads up really to Department heads.