JC council introduces $460.2M budget – seven months late

The Jersey City City Council voted 8-0 to introduce the city’s fiscal year 2009 budget at a special meeting Monday night.
The budget, introduced seven months into the fiscal year (which runs from July 1 of last year to June 30 this year), lists $460.2 million in appropriations, $15.7 million less than last year’s budget.
The city’s business admini strator, Brian O’Reilly, said while the budget was “untimely” it showed the effort of Mayor Jerramiah Healy and his administration put to give the city a balanced budget. He also said in the budget, $151.2 million will be raised by local property taxes (in other words, the tax levy), almost identical to the amount as in last year’s budget.
Also, there is an $800,000 shortfall in this year’s budget, which O’Reilly looks to remedy through cuts or increased revenues.
O’Reilly also pointed out that the budget includes $14.8 million savings as the result of deferral in pension payments, which New Jersey municipalities pay into the state’s pension system each year.
O’ Reilly said legislation pending in the State Legislature to allow municipalities to defer 50 percent of their pension payments for this year will pass in the next few weeks. Jersey City’s share is $30 million, but if the legislation goes through, they can cut that amount for now.
O’Reilly also was confident that this year’s budget will not close with a deficit. He said that each one has been balanced during his five years as the city’s business administrator. – Ricardo Kaulessar

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