The mayoral election is fast approaching. Thus, the residents of this city will have an opportunity to decide whether it will continue on its current course by reelecting our current mayor, or choose a new direction. To help residents make this choice, let me give you just one citizen’s perspective of what should be taken into consideration as the major factor in making that choice.
Our current mayor, Mayor Healy, took office in November 2004. Since then until the current time, the property taxes on my modest home have increased from $9,210 to $14,368. That is an increase of 56 percent. My property tax bill is now the largest single bill I have to pay on a yearly or monthly basis. It exceeds the amount I have to pay for food, clothing, utilities, entertainment, transportation, education for my child, health care, or any other single expense I choose to allocate my income towards. It even exceeds the cost of paying for my house itself. I am sure that many of you are now in similar circumstances. Stop and think of what this means. Our municipal government, led by Mayor Healy, now thinks that what it imposes is more important than any other item this citizen, making free choices, decides to make.
When a government at any level imposes on its citizens its largest single monetary burden, that is a government that has stolen its citizens’ freedom because the freedom to make economic decisions is the essence of liberty. It is as simple as that.
In addition, Mayor Healy has, in addition to presiding over this massive tax increase, pushed aplan to reassess all properties in the city. This means that all of you are facing the threat that your taxes may increase even more. Will they double? Triple? Who knows?
In my personal circumstances, faced with this reassessment threat, I have not gone ahead with needed renovations to my home. I would have hired local contractors to make necessary repairs and upgrades to my home, but Mayor Healy destroyed that option because I have no way to calculate what my taxes might look like when the reassessment ultimately takes effect. No homeowner can make rational economic decisions with an unpredictable, overhanging, reassessment on top of an over 50 percent tax increase.
It is clear that Mayor Healy does not deserve re-election. I love living in Jersey City, but if Mayor Healy is re-elected, the only freedom that might be left is the freedom to leave.
I have been encouraged by the public positions Ward E Councilman and mayoral candidate Steven Fulop has taken over the years about the city’s finances and the tax burden. He deserves a chance to change the direction of the city, and return to its taxpayers a measure of economic security.