Councilman DeFusco Calls for Honest Budgeting, End of Backdoor Taxes After Council Sizes Back Mayor Bhalla’s Parking Rate Increases
Last night the Hoboken City Council pulled Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s proposed municipal budget off the agenda following the Mayor backing away from his controversial parking rate increases. The proposed budget includes $1.2 million in anticipated revenues from the rate increases, and now that the plan has been scuttled that loss of revenue adds to an existing $1.7 million potential budget hole for a total shortfall of $2.9 million. At a time when the city is experiencing significant ratable growth that should make any increase in taxes unnecessary, the Bhalla administration's mismanagement and overspending is now threatening Hoboken taxpayers with a significant increase.
Councilman DeFusco stated:
“Mayor Bhalla’s proposed budget relies heavily on backdoor taxes and gimmicks to cover for rampant overspending, and now that this has been exposed Hoboken taxpayers are on the verge of a totally unnecessary tax increase. Residents shouldn’t be forced to pay for this administration’s spending spree and I am calling on the Mayor to work collaboratively with the Council to identify responsible cuts. I suggest we start with the bloated staff salaries in the Mayor’s office, the lavish spending on luxury vehicles, cutting contracts given to politically connected law firms and professional services and the massive overspending on legal fees. All of these expenses are threatening to crush middle-class Hoboken residents with a tax increase unless we act to reign in the municipal budget.”