Hoboken tax group prepares questions for Saturday budget meeting

HOBOKEN — The group Hoboken Tax Revolt plans to ask several pointed questions at this Saturday’s hearing on Hoboken’s proposed municipal budget.
The City Council will be meeting with the city department directors from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at City Hall to ask
questions in regards to the budget. The public can attend but will not
be provided the opportunity to speak. Instead, residents can submit questions to council members to ask.
The Hoboken Revolt Steering Committee submitted the following questions to the residents:

1. Personnel Costs. We would like to see comparisons from 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 budgets from department heads for all municipal employees with the following details: Salaries, Headcount by Department, Healthcare Costs, Cell Phones (for who, and at what cost), City Vehicles (who has them, how many are there and what are the costs). We would like to hear how each department benchmarks their budget and headcount based on other municipalities.
2. PILOTS (Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreements with developers/buildings). We would like to hear an update on the management of current PILOTS. Is the city receiving the appropriate revenue streams? Which pilots are in arrears and how will that be corrected? What is the status on the Church Towers pilot in regards to compliance with a HUD program?
3. Reassessments and Revaluation. What is the status on assessment challenges and impact on revenue for 2010 and 2011. Are there assumptions in the budget to account for those who win assessment challenges? What is the status on revaluation?
4. Debt Management. What amount of debt should a city like ours incur? How to do we compare to other comparable cities? What percentage of the budget is dedicated to infrastructure update? What is going on with the municipal garage?
What are the tax implications of the hospital closing? and, of the hospital staying open?
5. Future Budgets. There is no election in the upcoming year. Can we get a commitment from the council to begin working on the 2011 budget in a timely way to insure adoption by the fall of 2010? If not, why?

What would YOU ask?

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