Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rolling reval on the brink

Tonight the last of two City Council meetings before the tides of major elections next November to the body impacting the entire City is on tap with the rolling reval expected to get Das Boot!

Mayor Zimmer the day before Thanksgiving announced an alternative she will look for approval in the City Council with a reval implemented every six years. In doing so, she likely negated harm to the Reform base which is largely homeowners, the people paying the freight.

The rolling reval in the good government best practices handbook is the advocated position of people everywhere who want to see tax stability for the most homeowners citywide year to year. It's the best way to keep prices from shifting too dramatically on any one group or area of town.

Hoboken's red hot real estate market is showing double digit valuation increases over a single year. Although any tax adjustment would be nothing like the reval which hit after decades of not occurring, the fear is real, deep and agitated.

So there's that political reality. After 25 years, Hoboken's reval netted some substantial tax bite on some owners who had benefitted in not seeing an increase on valuable million dollar properties over decades.

No one is going to convince those homeowners they saw substantial savings over many years subsidized by mainly new condos which were coming online and paying on a per foot basis far more.

The Old Guard Council is kicking themselves wondering how they ever fell so easily into a good government pit. Divide and conquer is their watchword and in this instance they were asleep at the wheel. Lots of gnashing of teeth about all of it from their political operatives who whine daily to the Hudson Reporter.

There's always tonight. Let the demons roar then call the vote!

Tonight the Old Guard council's motto could be "I feel bad." The City Council voted 9-0 supporting a rolling reval but the word reval gave many Hoboken residents agita. The mayor has proposed a six year alternative which is likely to pass no matter what MORTe does (or says).