Paterson Top Stories

Decline in Municipal Court Fine Payments Hurts City Budget



PATERSON, NJ – The city’s collections on municipal court fines have dropped by almost 20 percent, down to about $4,054,000 for the past year. That reduction of $984,000 in annual revenue is one of the factors contributing to the $15.5 million increase in Paterson’s preliminary tax levy for 2013.

City Business Administrator Charles Thomas told the City Council on Friday night that the layoff of 125 police officers resulted in fewer summonses being issued. Moreover, he said Paterson has more than $7 million in unpaid fines.

Sign Up for E-News

But Councilman William McKoy insisted there should be no shortage of summonses in Paterson. He offered to drive with Thomas down any block in the time to point out building code and property maintenance problems that are not being enforced.

“I can stand on almost every corner and show you traffic violations galore,’’ McKoy added. The councilman urged the administration to take a more proactive approach towards boosting the fine revenue.

“You can’t just let a million dollars do without a plan,’’ McKoy said.

Thomas said the administration has several plans in place for restoring the fine money. First of all, he said, the city is about to award a contract with a collection agency to recoup the $7 million in unpaid violations pending with the municipal court. Also, he said, the state has approved Pateson’s request to hire 10 part-time inspectors in the community improvement division who will issue summons for various property violations.

Moreover, Thomas said, the city is asking the state’s permission to hire an extra 10 sanitation inspectors.

In addition to the loss of $984,000 in court fines, here’s a breakdown of other factors that city officials say have contributed to the preliminary $15.5 million increase:

  • A $1.8 million reduction in Paterson’s collections on delinquent taxes
  • The loss of $2.2 million in Urban Enterprise Zone money that was used to pay for some police expenses. The city’s UEZ account is almost depleted.
  • A $2 million jump in employee health benefits costs
  • A $1.5 million increase in fire department salaries.
  • The repayment of $439,415 to the federal Housing and Urban Development agency for problems uncovered in an audit of Paterson’s 2008 program.
  • A $939,446 increase in pension payments.
  • A $2.9 million increase in the allocation to a cash reserve fund.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Mon, May 28, 1:00 PM

Roberto Clemente Park, Paterson

Memorial Day Celebration

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, June 2, 8:30 AM

LaNeves Restaurant, Haledon

2018 Parent Conference & Breakfast


Free Archery Classes

May 24, 2018

Archery is one of the world's oldest sports, and you can enjoy free classes hosted by the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Rutgers 4-H Cooperative Extension of Passaic County. From 2pm-4pm on June 2nd, June 16th, July 7th, and July 21st, people of all ages are welcome to take free archery classes at the Great Meadow in Garret Mountain Reservation, located at 8 Mountain Ave ...

Free Yoga and Fitness Classes

You don't need a gym membership to get fit and exercise. Passaic County is making an effort to make our citizens healthier and happier by sponsoring free fitness training and yoga classes on our park system.

Goffle Brook Park features an outdoor fitness circuit available to anyone. Get classes from trained professionals on how to use our equipment, and use those lessons all year ...

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

I joined in September, ...

Who Let the Dogs Out? Passaic County K-9 Unit Wows Children and Seniors

May 24, 2018

TOTOWA, NJ- With schoolchildren, senior citizens, and law enforcement all in one room any politician would have been thrilled to take part in Thursday’s cross generational event in Totowa that featured a reading of children’s book “Roscoe the K-9 Cop,” authored by Kristen Sondej, and several members of the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

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

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 ...

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 ...