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City of Jersey City

Bret Schundler
City Hall
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Office of the Mayor
April 11, 2001
Contact: Tom Gallagher

Schundler Proposes $3 Million Property Tax Cut for Jersey City

Tax Cut Possible Despite $10 Million Reduction in State Revenue This Year
Mayor Schundler Credits Development Boom and Spending Restraint For Producing Tax Cut

City Council to Consider Budget Adoption on April 18th

Jersey City
Mayor Bret Schundler today proposed a budget amendment that would cut property taxes by more than $3 million. Under the plan, which was approved by the City Council by an unanimous 9-0 vote at a special Council meeting, Jersey City's municipal tax levy would be set at $102.4 million, $3.1 million less than the $105.5 tax levy included in the City's FY 2000 budget last year.

The tax cut was a welcome surprise to City Council members, many of whom expected bad news in the wake of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs notifying Jersey City that was cutting its revenues to the City by over $10 million this year.

"I am happy to report that my administration has a solid plan to cut property taxes for Jersey City homeowners this year, despite another year of State revenue cuts. If the State would have just kept its revenue flat, we would have been able to cut taxes further," said Mayor Schundler.

Official budget documents confirm that Jersey City received $93 million in State revenue last year. This year that figure plummeted to less than $83 million. Schundler, in the face of threatened funding cuts from the State over the past three years, has lobbied hard for changes in State legislation that would ensure that every city in New Jersey would enjoy stable funding from the State with annual increases to offset inflation.

Even with the cut in State revenue, Schundler said he was still proud of the fact that a tax levy of $102.4 million in the FY 2001 budget was slightly less than the $102.6 million raised by the Municipal Council in 1991 - over 10 years ago.

"Despite a 30% increase in inflation since 1991, we have kept municipal property taxes stable. That's the equivalent of a better than 30 percent real cut in property taxes, and that's quite an achievement," the mayor said.

Jersey City $333.7 million spending plan, which is slated to be adopted at the Municipal Council's April18th meeting, holds spending virtually constant from last year. The City's FY'2000 adopted budget was $332.8 million.

"This budget has a ZERO percent spending increase -- I'm proud of that accomplishment," Schundler said as he compared his administration's spending restraint to the State of New Jersey which saw a 9% increase in its own FY 2001 budget, and a recently proposed 38% increase in spending by the Jersey City School District, which is also under State-control.

Schundler attributed the City's financial health to the benefits of new development. The City's waterfront has become one of the State's hottest real estate markets and has attracted major corporate relocations from Manhattan.

"Jersey City is becoming New Jersey's financial capital. The commercial development along our waterfront has transformed abandoned rail yards into new tax revenues, new jobs for our residents, and increased home values. I can say unequivocally that my administration's aggressive economic development strategies have transformed Jersey City into an economic engine for the State of New Jersey."

Tax revenues from new development are expected to reach an all-time high of $53 million in this year's budget, a $21 million increase from last year's figure of $32 million. Tax revenues from new development stood at just $14 million when Schundler took office in 1992.

Schundler said that by attracting development to his urban community, Jersey City was helping rural and suburban communities save precious open space from development.

"You can't control growth in this State with government regulations alone. You need healthy cities that can attract private investment. What makes a city healthy is good jobs, low crime, and tax stability, and that's exactly what we have achieved in Jersey City."

In addition to new development, Schundler pointed to the City's 99 percent tax collection rate the past three years as another key indicator of the City's financial health. The City's collection rate had dipped to a dangerously low 78 percent when he took the helm in 1992.

Schundler for Governor 2005 Web Site

Bret Schundler Media Archive

Schundler for Governor 2001 Campaign Archive

Documents from the Office of Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler

Hudson County Facts  by Anthony Olszewski
Hudson County, New Jersey is a place of many firsts - including genocide and slavery.
Political corruption is a tradition here.
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