As the Hoboken election approaches this November, members of the City Council found themselves in agreement last night, at least on one thing…and that was a very important thing. The municipal budget.
By a unanimous vote, the Council adopted Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s balanced budget, and they did so with a 2.8-percent municipal tax cut.
Despite the unprecedented challenges of the ongoing pandemic, the City of Hoboken last night adopted a balanced budget that includes a 2.8 percent reduction in municipal taxes and funds infrastructure improvements, quality of life initiatives, and upgrades to city services. The municipal budget, unanimously adopted at last night’s City Council meeting, provides relief to property owners who, on average, will see a $74 reduction in the municipal portion of their tax bill this year.
“I am very proud that we have once again been able to deliver a balanced budget and provide much needed financial relief to residents, despite the extraordinary circumstances presented by the pandemic,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “Through collaboration with the City Council and funding allocated to the City through the American Rescue Plan, the City will continue to fund critical quality-of-life initiatives and infrastructure upgrades that will benefit residents for years to come. Thank you to the City Council finance subcommittee, City Directors and finance department for working collaboratively together to create a responsible budget.”
The adopted municipal budget provides for park improvements, flood infrastructure upgrades, continued watermain replacement, road repaving, municipal garage updates, Vision Zero safety improvements, the ongoing construction of the City’s largest resiliency park in Northwest Hoboken, and more. The adopted budget also includes $6.4 million from the American Rescue Plan to make up for revenue loss due to the COVID-19pandemic.
“I am proud to have led the Finance Subcommittee for this year’s annual budget process and I am grateful for the support of all of my colleagues with a 9-0 vote on the budget amendment in July, which preceded tonight’s full budget passage,” said Councilwoman Emily Jabbour, chair of the Finance Subcommittee. “A lot of great work was done by the professional Finance Department Staff at City Hall, especially Business Administrator Jason Freeman and Finance Director Linda Landolfi. I’m grateful to my colleagues on the Finance Subcommittee – Council members Cohen and Russo – and appreciate the collaborative process that the Council engaged in to reach agreement on a budget that will give taxpayers some relief during a difficult time, without negatively impacting City services.”
“For my entire tenure serving on the Hoboken City Council, I have pushed for a reduction in taxes, and I am proud to have worked with the Administration and my Council colleagues to deliver that,” said Councilman Michael Russo, a member of the Finance Subcommittee. “During what has been one of the most challenging times for our City, keeping money in residents’ pockets is paramount. I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish, and I thank my colleagues, the Mayor, and his administration, for their diligence in providing taxpayers needed relief.”
“With the Finance Subcommittee and our partners in City Hall, we took a budget that Mayor Bhalla submitted in April with a 0.0% tax increase and found additional ways to save taxpayer dollars, ultimately delivering a 2.8% tax cut,” said Councilman Phil Cohen, a member of the Finance Subcommittee. “This budget is a win-win-win as it provides residents relief and funding for capital improvement projects without compromising any City services. Thank you to Mayor Bhalla, the City Council, and the Mayor’s administration for working together to provide creative solutions and deliver a welcome tax break to Hoboken residents in a tough year.”
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