Bayonne’s property tax rate for 2009 contains a slight increase, reflective of increases in county taxes and school debt service. The total overall increase is 3.9 percent – below the allowable state cap of 4 percent. County and school debt service taxes account for 55 percent of the increase, and the city budget, 45 percent.
Bayonne’s combined tax rate is set by the Hudson County Tax Board, based upon a formula that is applied to each community. This year, the rate has been set at $62.88, which is 3.9 percent more than last year’s rate of $60.52 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Mayor Mark Smith said the figures reflect the challenges in reversing years of growth in government spending.
“We held the line on actual school spending this year, but school debt service has increased. We cut the municipal budget in many areas, too. County taxes increased in part, due to declines in real estate values elsewhere in the county. All of these variables factor into the proposed tax rate.”
Smith said he wants everything on the table as the community struggles with the cost of providing a quality government.
“We in City Hall are doing our best to find responsible savings and cost cutting opportunities without adversely affecting the public safety, our children’s education, or our quality of life,” said Smith. “We are in hot pursuit of many new business opportunities that will expand our taxpayer base to help lighten the individual tax load. But there will be occasions when taxes will increase, due to circumstances outside of Bayonne.”
Smith said he wanted to present a realistic picture of the tax rate for the third and forth quarters rather than an artificial one. The mayor said he wasn’t happy that city property taxes are slated to increase, but felt a modest increase is the responsible thing to do. Mayor Smith said he continues to evaluate municipal operations for savings opportunities.