Budget Snapshot: $1,360 Tax Increase on Average City House

5b3fda581081eb558b67_budget_staff.jpg
Paterson's finance officials at budget discussion
5b3fda581081eb558b67_budget_staff.jpg

 

PATERSON, NJ – Right now, Paterson’s 2012 budget is at a point where no one wants it to be. There’s a $22.8 million shortfall that would require a 17 percent tax increase, which amounts to a $1,360 hike on a house valued at the city average of $350,000, officials said Wednesday night.

“That’s a snapshot of where we currently are,’’ said Business Administrator Charles Thomas. “In no way do we want to end at this number or at this percentage.’’

Sign Up for E-News

With harsh criticism that has become routine at Paterson government meetings, city council members urged Mayor Jeffrey Jones’ administration to complete a budget with no tax increase.

Councilman Kenneth Morris called the status of the budget “unconscionable.’’  Councilman Julio Tavarez said city spending needed to be brought under control. Councilman Aslon Goow warned that the number of abandoned homes in the city would double.

“If you worked overtime on the flooding, you’ve got to work overtime on this budget,’’ said Councilman Andre Sayegh.

After enduring a 29 percent tax increase last year under a budget that resulted in almost 400 layoffs, Paterson hardly seems ready for another fiscal crisis. But Thomas pointed out during Wednesday night’s budget discussion that Paterson is in far better position than it had been a year ago, when the deficit was tens of millions of dollars larger.

“We’re working as diligently to get the number as low as possible before it’s finally adopted,’’ Thomas said of the budget.

The city’s next step will be to hold a series of hearings for council members to examine the budget details for every city department. Those have yet to be scheduled.

Meanwhile, in its letter telling Paterson it will receive $21 million of the $47.7 million in state transition aid that the city applied for, the New Jersey Division of Local Government Services outlined several ways to cut the budget by millions of dollars that would have no impact on municipal services. Among them are restructuring the city’s debt payments and staggering payments to the state for unemployment checks for employees laid off last year.

There remains a major wild card in the city’s finances. The $21 million state aid is contingent upon the Legislature adopting a bill that would impose tougher monitoring requirements on distressed cities that get the transitional funding. Without passage of that bill, the governor has said he will only approve $10 million of transitional aid statewide. That would leave Paterson in a major bind.

“In reality, we have nothing,’’ Tavarez said, referring to the uncertainty of the state aid offer. “We have a paper which says we might give you $21 million.’’

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_efec3d39ddc6008dd11e_4a256201-8c0a-450c-b62e-8a761d6f5b83

Thu, July 19, 6:00 PM

Vreeland Ave. Park, Paterson

Occupy Vreeland Ave. Park

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar

Carousel_image_3f27a97645e7103f9868_flyer__courthouse_plaza_programs_2018-page-001

Tue, July 24, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Carousel_image_efec3d39ddc6008dd11e_4a256201-8c0a-450c-b62e-8a761d6f5b83

Thu, July 26, 6:00 PM

Vreeland Ave. Park, Paterson

Occupy Vreeland Ave. Park

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar

Readers Says Let Developer Bring Paterson Back

July 13, 2018

Dear Editor: 

It is no secret that Paterson is in dire need of revitalizing, restructuring, rebuilding, and, quite frankly, rebranding. As a city, we have struggled to pay our municipal debt, to reduce crime substantially, to create sustainable employment opportunities for our youth and to provide assistance for our city’s most vulnerable residents. 

Today, we face an uphill ...

Pascrell, Renacci, Senators Celebrate House Approval of Congressional Gold Medal to Baseball Pioneer Larry Doby

July 11, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Jim Renacci (R-OH-16) hailed the passage in the House of Representatives of H.R. 1861, the Larry Doby Congressional Gold Medal Act. The legislation awards the Congressional Gold Medal to the late baseball star, Larry Doby, who broke the American League’s color barrier in 1947.

“A proud ...

PATERSON MAYOR ANDRE SAYEGH APPOINTS MIKE POWELL AS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

PATERSON, NJ – Mayor Andre Sayegh today appointed Mike Powell as the city’s economic development director for the new city administration.

“Just as Alexander Hamilton looked to the Great Falls and saw the future of our nation, we look to the Great Falls and all of Paterson’s resources and see the prosperous future of our great city,” said Sayegh.

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

July 12, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters here.

It’s one of two ordinances that were approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

Big Plans for Small Park in Newark’s North Ward

NEWARK, NJ- An under-utilized pocket park on Mt. Prospect Avenue in Newark’s North Ward has become a symbol of what can be accomplished in neighborhoods throughout the city through effective public-private partnerships. 

The park’s supporters have big plans for the public space, located directly across the street from the busy North Ward Center, located in an historic ...

I'm Sorry Mr. Jackson... I Am For Real

July 8, 2018

Hello again, Paterson. 

So much has changed since the last time I’ve written… as I’d hoped, Andre Sayegh is our new mayor and it seems an exciting new dawn is upon us. I think when any change comes, especially one as major as this, there is an opportunity for reflection as well as for hope. This election taught me quite a bit, seeing some of the best and worst sides of ...

RU Ready for Rutgers Football? Tickets on Sale

July 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - There's a lot of promotions planned this fall as part of the Rutgers football season.

Single game tickets go on sale Thursday, July 12, with seven home games. There's matchups against Big Ten East opponents Michigan and Penn State, and a first-time cross divisional meeting with Northwestern.

If football is not your thing, there's plenty ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

Belmar Parasail: Soar Into Summer with a High-Flying Adventure Along the Beachfront

BELMAR, NJ — As Belmar finally basks in picture-perfect weather, it may be time to check off a summer activity on your bucket list. And for many, parasailing is one of those “must-do” experiences.

At Belmar Parasail, the season is in full swing, offering boat trips from the Belmar Manutti Marina to the beachfront where passengers are lifted 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean ...