Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Councilwoman Beth Mason - Make BA Liston give you back your money

Dear Friend,

 If you overpaid your phone bill would you ask for your money back? What about your tax bill? 

Two years ago Hoboken’s municipal taxes went up 84%, and the city has been overtaxing you ever since. This resulted in a $20 million tax surplus, but the politicians in City Hall don’t want to give your money back. 

They want to keep it. 

And worse yet they want to spend it. 

Hoboken Business Administrator Arch Liston is on record saying that the upcoming budget will not provide any real tax relief. Liston says returning your money would be “totally irresponsible”.   Instead he and Mayor Zimmer plan to continue to overtax you and spend your money on labor contracts in 2011 rather than make good on their promise to provide a 25% tax cut.      

I urge you to make your voice heard at the next Hoboken City Council meeting on September 1st when the City Council will vote to introduce Mayor Zimmer’s budget. 

Tell City Hall to give your money back and cut your taxes immediately.     

Please do not hesitate to contact me at (201) 916-8244 or   I look forward to speaking with you soon. 

Thank you for your time. 


Talking Ed Note: No matter how you slice it, taxes are a big issue with an angry electorate.  Reserves, surplus, restricted, constricted who cares?  That will be the response of many folks who will only hear, or barely hear what's what and the ins and outs.  

Considering the overwhelming tax burden, many voters will just say, "Show me the money."  MSV would like to see this done and of course it should be done responsibly.  But Paul Swibinski is on the job and he's thoroughly tested this message, at least $3,000 a month's worth, not including extra charges for photos, superfluous payouts to Fin Boy to post on, etc.

It's a small town and you would think truth does get around, but the bet here pardon the pun, is that it won't.  And this time, Da Horsey can say, cynicism may in fact pay.  And that's why I'm vot'in for Bet Mazin.

Public meeting on Hoboken's 'Western Edge'

City of Hoboken announces:


Hoboken residents are invited to attend a public meeting to discuss the Western Edge Redevelopment Plan on Tuesday, September 14th from 7pm to 9pm at the Jubilee Center601 Jackson Street.

“Too often in the past, redevelopment has been based only on what developers wanted rather than reflecting the community’s vision,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “By making public input a priority, we are enhancing the City’s negotiating advantage and providing greater control over the redevelopment process.”

In July, 2007, the City Council declared the Western Edge region an Area in Need of Redevelopment. Following three public meetings to identify community concerns, a draft redevelopment plan was prepared in September 2008. That plan met significant public resistance because it did not incorporate the community’s concerns, and the City Council subsequently tabled the ordinance to approve the plan.

The City has since prepared a revised plan which incorporates the community feedback from past public meetings. The plan will be made available to the public prior to the September 14th meeting so residents can review it in advance and present their constructive comments and suggestions at the meeting. After the meeting, the City will further adjust the plan as needed based on additional community feedback.

Additionally, in order to help residents better understand the redevelopment process prior to the Western Edge Redevelopment Plan meeting, the City is hosting a “Redevelopment 101” seminar on August 31 from 7pm to 9pm at the Multi Service Center.

The Western Edge Redevelopment Area is bounded by the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and the Palisades to the west; 9th Street and a residential area to the south, Monroe StreetMadison Street and Jefferson Street and neighboring commercial and residential areas to the east; and 14th Street, the 14th Street Viaduct and an industrial area to the north.

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NJ loses $400 million in federal reform money for education

A last minute change on the State of New Jersey's application for monies from a federal educational reform program, "Race to the Top" will cost New Jersey $400 million in federal funding this year.  Last minute wrangling with the state's teacher union, the NJEA led to Gov. Christie yanking months of work on the application and redoing it just days leading into the deadline.

Education commissioner Bret Schundler
The last minute application had incorrect budget information with the wrong years; it contained 2011 instead of 2008 and 2009 requested, costing the state five points in the scoring system.  New Jersey missed qualifying for the federal funds by three points.

More recently, another New Jersey report concluded that tax abatement programs were costing many New Jersey cities millions in education aid.  Hoboken was highlighted in that report as losing more than $3.5 million in education taxes uncollected due to the formulas used.  Taxes are paid directly to the municipality but county and education taxes are not.

Hoboken residents currently pay about 30% of their annual tax bill for education in the district.

Many controversial tax abatements have been under review at City Hall.  It's unclear what may come out of such a review but some time ago, one City Councilman on the mayor's majority coalition recounted his inquiry on a building located in downtown Hoboken near the waterfront and felt it could and should be legally altered.

Tax abatements or PILOTs are very controversial in Hoboken.  They range from projects previously approved that went up in affluent areas to Church Towers, that received a ten year PILOT extension in 2009 with no means testing on its affordable subsidized units.

Related:  The Newark Star Ledger has the story on NJ's reform application just missing out.  The $400 million is going to have strong reverberations.

The state report criticizes tax abatements listing Bayonne, Jersey City and Hoboken as examples of abuse.  You can link to the state 30 page report on the page here.

Photo: courtesy

City walking the walk - public meeting on Redevelopment

City of Hoboken announces:


On Tuesday, August 31, the City of Hoboken will host a “Redevelopment 101” informative seminar to educate the public on the redevelopment process.

“My Administration takes public input very seriously,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “As we move forward with various redevelopment projects, an informed public will be in a position to offer the feedback we need to reflect our community’s vision for our City.”

The event, which will take place at the Multi Service Center, 124 Grand Street, from 7pm to 9pm, will be taped, replayed on television, and posted on the City website.

Redevelopment attorney Joe Maraziti of Maraziti, Falcon, & Healey will speak in general terms about the redevelopment process from start to finish, while Jong Sook Nee of McManimon & Scotland will explain the financing tools that are available through redevelopment. The presentations will be followed by a question and answer session.

The City is in the process of creating the redevelopment plan for the Western Edge and will soon be announcing a public meeting to discuss a draft of the plan. Additionally, the City is currently conducting a study to determine whether redevelopment would be appropriate for Southwest Hoboken.

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