Budget Deadline Nears and Tax Increase Looms

b767b13b593d4262b375_city_20hall.jpg
City Hall
b767b13b593d4262b375_city_20hall.jpg

 

PATERSON, NJ – With the possibility of another municipal tax increase at stake, Mayor Jeffrey Jones and the City Council appear headed for a showdown next week when it comes time to amend the city’s 2011 budget.

The council already voted in January to set the maximum amount of city taxes collected under the budget at $132 million, a figure that would keep the property tax bills issued in May from increasing above the most recent ones, which brought a 29-percent hike.

Sign Up for E-News

But so far, Jones’ staff has not succeeded in cutting the budget to get the tax levy below $140 million.

 “I cannot support a tax levy of $140 million,’’ said Councilman Kenneth Morris, who has urged the Jones administration to bring the levy down as low as $122 million.

“If it’s passed at $122 million, expect the state of New Jersey to come through the doors and they’ll be operating the city,’’ said Jones, referring to the threat of a state takeover if Paterson doesn’t adopt a balanced budget.

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has mandated that the city amend its budget by March 15 and adopt it by March 28. As those deadlines approach, the sparring between Jones and council members over the budget deficit has become increasingly aggressive.

The tensions were evident at the March 8 city council meeting.

 Council members sharply criticized Jones’ decisions to shield high-paying recent appointees of his – including his $105,000-a-year chief of staff - from the impending layoffs, while long-standing, rank-and-file workers stand to lose their jobs. Council members also hammered away at the mayor’s three-man police security detail at a time when the city is planning to terminate 125 law enforcement officers.

 “Folks taking shots at other folks – that’s what this is becoming,’’ Jones said. “I’m not going to push back or fight back at that.’’

But minutes after declaring he would take the high road, the mayor called Councilman Rigo Rodriguez “a liar” when Rodriguez accused the mayor of failing to provide the council with a plan for resolving the budget crisis.

During their budget battle that went on for more than an hour, neither side offered any new suggestions to closing the $8 million deficit.

At one point, Jones said he saw ‘a plus” in the city’s fiscal crisis.

“We finally understand we’re at rock bottom,’’ the mayor said. “For years, people were pushing debt forward. We didn’t know it because we weren’t engaged in the process.’’

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_480e593439800b8f20b5_fdbb7ea0-bad4-4518-a21f-ea6b7964e633

Mon, May 28, 1:00 PM

Roberto Clemente Park, Paterson

Memorial Day Celebration

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_53ae7533852656590209_parent_of_the_year_breakfast_saturday_june_2_2018

Sat, June 2, 8:30 AM

LaNeves Restaurant, Haledon

2018 Parent Conference & Breakfast

Education

Free Dog Training Classes

May 22, 2018

Does your family have a new dog or puppy that needs to get trained? You do not have to spend a fortune training Fido. Come to Passaic County's Free Dog Training Sessions in Goffle Brook Park in Hawthorne. Classes are held every Monday and Thursday from 6pm-8pm through June, July, and August. 

For more info, or to see if weather canceled the event, please call 973-881-4833. 

Paterson Mayor-Elect Andre Sayegh Announces Transition Team Leadership

PATERSON, NJ – Mayor-Elect Andre Sayegh today announced the leadership of his transition team, which will examine the current state of municipal government, make recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of city services, and help make the necessary preparations for the launch of the new administration on July 1.

“As I said throughout my campaign, we intend to ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

Passaic County CASA Recognizes Volunteer Child Advocates at Annual Event

May 11, 2018

WAYNE, NJ- More than 50 staff members, volunteers, and board members from Passaic County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) celebrated the impact of CASA volunteers at the organization's Volunteer Appreciation Brunch on April 28, 2018, at Laurelwood Arboretum in Wayne. This annual event recognizes Passaic County CASA volunteer advocates and the difference they make in the lives of ...

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver Testimony on Proposal to Divert Affordable Housing Funds

May 21, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- TAPinto Paterson earlier reported on the response of local community leaders and activists on a proposal by Governor Phil Murphy to divert $46 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) which they wrote in a letter signed by representatives of over 100 groups statewide is “legally dedicated to the creation of affordable homes for lower income ...

Local Advocates Join Statewide Call for Restoration of Affordable Housing Funds

PATERSON, NJ- The leaders of several local organizations including Paterson Habitat for Humanity, Saint Paul’s Community Development Corporation, the Paterson Housing Authority, and the City of Paterson’s Neighborhood Assistance Office lent their signatures to a letter urging Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature to preserve a fund dedicated to creation of affordable ...

The Elections are Over, Now it's Time to Collaborate!

May 21, 2018

For much of the past six months Paterson’s focus has been on the races for mayor and council, and rightly so. The elected officials that serve the nearly 150,000 residents of our city have an enormous responsibility, their actions dictating not just success of our community, but the way our City is perceived.

The election is now behind us, and we congratulate all who took part in the ...