Mayor Bhalla proposes $132 million Hoboken municipal budget

The budget would cause 5.6 percent increase in local taxes

Mayor Ravi Bhalla is proposing a budget that is about $7.1 million more than last year's. Photo by Mark Koosau.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla has proposed an estimated $132 million municipal budget for fiscal year 2022, which will come with a 5.6 percent local tax increase, as the city looks to overcome increases created by rising inflation and union contract settlements, along with investing in infrastructure improvements and personal investments.

“Hoboken has grown almost 20 percent over the past decade to 60,419 residents, and our services must grow simultaneously to support those residents, visitors, and business owners,” said Bhalla in a statement. “We are putting forward a responsible, balanced budget that provides the services our community deserves through investments in our front line workers, our first responders, and our infrastructure.”

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The proposed budget, which is approximately $131,971,734, is about $7.1 million more than the $125 million budget from last year, with the city expecting to use $92 million in operations “within CAPS”.

The city is expecting to generate about $63.8 million in general revenues, which includes a $9 million surplus. The 5.6 percent tax increase is due to a proposed increase to the tax levy from $59 million to $62 million, which the city said that it will mean $12 a month of property owners with an average assessed property of $525,000.

Last year, the city’s budget increased by 6.8 percent from the year before, but with a 2.8 percent reduction in local taxes due to federal funding by the American Rescue Plan last year, of which the city used $6.4 million.

The city said that they’re planning on a number of quality-of-life initiatives, such as the new Division of Housing, the relaunch of the Office of Constituent Services, and the reestablishment of the Department of Public Safety. They also said that they will be using additional American Rescue Plan funds, as well as investing in infrastructure, water mains, EV charging stations, micro-mobility and more.

“Despite rising costs throughout the country, operating expenses in this budget have remained nearly flat in an effort to mitigate the impact on the Hoboken taxpayer,” reads a press release.

The budget will be presented at the upcoming City Council meeting on April 20 at City Hall.

For updates on this and other stories, check hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Mark Koosau can be reached at mkoosau@hudsonreporter.com or his Twitter @snivyTsutarja.