Hoboken's 2% tax hike spurs vow of cost cuts

The Jersey Journal

HOBOKEN - The party's over for property owners in the Mile Square City.

Property owners received their first-quarter estimated tax bills in the mail last week and saw a 2-percent municipal tax increase - the first hike in more than 10 years.

The tax increase is expected to bring in an additional $2.5 million, said Bill Campbell, a spokesman for the city - and will mean an added $60 a year for every $100,000 in assessed property value.

But city officials will be hard pressed to find other ways to generate enough revenue to get over the hump that has been filled with one-shot revenues year after year after year.

Last year, the City Council narrowly agreed to sell the city's municipal garage to the Hudson County Improvement Authority and then lease it back, using the proceeds to plug a $7.9 million shortfall.

In a letter sent to city taxpayers, Mayor David Roberts pledged to cut costs and streamline government.

"One of my goals, as I start my second term of office, is to make every effort to curb spending without reducing the services and programs you deserve," Roberts said.

Campbell said the mayor is looking into restructuring licensing fees, parking lot taxes and other fees, as well as privatizing as many as five or six departments.

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