With the state’s assistance and supervision, the Hoboken City Council last week voted five to three to pass a long-awaited and contentious $92 million budget for fiscal 2008, which ended on June 30.
Officials will now push the city’s $10.5 million deficit into fiscal 2009 by raising property taxes over the next four quarters as opposed to generating all of the needed revenue in the final 2008 tax bill.
“The hope is that whatever impact the $10.5 million has to have in fiscal year 2009 on the taxpayers can be mitigated by spreading it out obviously over the four quarters,” said council member Peter Cammarano.
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs will now oversee Hoboken’s finances as city officials were unable to pass a fiscal 2008 budget by a June 6 deadline. The Local Finance Board, a division of the DCA, already approved the $92 million plan after state officials denied the City Council’s request in mid-June for an extension.
“Every determination on all of these financial matters going forward is ultimately the state’s decision because we’re in a state supervision situation now,” Cammarano said.
City Council members say it has been difficult getting final numbers from Mayor David Roberts and his administration regarding Hoboken’s finances. Council members last week also passed a resolution calling for Roberts’ resignation along with Richard England, the city’s former business administrator and the current purchasing agent.
Cammarano and two other council members voted present while five members voted for the resignations. Roberts has said that he will not leave his post. Forcing the mayor from his seat before the end of his term in May would require a voter recall through a referendum.