Newark’s Municipal Council Tuesday afternoon granted its initial approval for a proposed real estate lease-back agreement to be financed with bonds.

The proposal to sell city assets to the Essex County Improvement Authority and then lease the properties back could help New Jersey’s largest city fill an $80 million budget shortfall. Officials have less than two months to solve the deficit and adopt its $600 million budget for the year ending Dec. 31. The city needs to mail out fourth-quarter property tax bills by early November.

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