After proddings over months from the Hoboken City Council, Mayor Ravi Bhalla is now ready to introduce the Hoboken 2020 budget.
But first he had to spin it in a preplanned release to media and political operatives.
After the full City Council later received a look, the budget is officially presented at $118 million for 2020 with a 10% tax increase, or a shade under, officially at 9.8% according to a report on Hudson County View.
What's presented to the Hoboken public is an odd circumvention of reality as Ravi Bhalla looks to claim the Hudson County tax decrease for redemption while pointing to the pandemic for the shortfall.
In a rarity for the Mile Square City, Hudson County taxes will not see an increase but a six percent decrease. The windfall comes to the Mile Square City taxpayers as numerous PILOTs in Jersey City expired forcing them to pay a full tax assessment to Hudson County.
Earlier this year, the Bhalla Administration wouldn't admit to estimates of the budget shortfall only saying it was seven million and then later somewhere north of ten prior to the pandemic. The Bhalla Administration targeted 79 municipal layoffs later eliminating over two dozen positions last May. The City Council made additional cuts including the office of constituent services restarted by Ravi Bhalla when he took office.
With the budget introduction, it Ravi Bhalla put the shortfall just south of $20 million, a number Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher had noted in her independent analysis, an estimate made without confirmation from the Bhalla Administration.
Hudson County View attempted to distill facts on the qualified spin writing in part: