The past 30 years has seen a great transformation in Hoboken. There have been many notable improvements, particularly at the waterfront. But there has also been a very nasty downside: the pushing of about 10,000 residents out of their homes, both tenants and small property owners by a variety of means including arson fires, harassment, unjustified rent increases and tax increases. In this regard the current revaluation, with long-term property owners facing increases of 400 percent, 500 percent (and perhaps more) in the re-evaluations of their property portends another round of forced exodus of small property owners: and in the case of rental properties it will be the tenants who will undoubtedly bear the burden to be imposed.
In consideration of this, I have two suggestions:
1. The May 1 deadline for appeal is an egregious violation of reasonable policy because no one will know the real impact that the revaluation will have on their lives until the new tax rate is announced. This deadline should be moved to two months after the new rate is announced to give property owners and tenants time to consider whether or not they can live with the actual tax increase or need to hire a lawyer to appeal.
2. The new tax rate should be adjusted so that tax increases do not exceed 10 percent for any owner. While it is true that our newer residents generally pay higher taxes, they voluntarily and knowingly accepted this situation, while the older residents who kept Hoboken a safe and desirable community are having the ensuing tax increases forced on them. Small businesses in older buildings, such as those on Washington St., First St., etc., will be similarly affected. .
To advert another ugly round of displacement from their homes in Hoboken, the long term property owners and tenants need to be assured of modest actual tax increases. 10 percent maximum sounds right to me. Readers: If this sounds right to you, please speak up before it is too late. The administration should be informed about your views before the only remaining option is to vote in a different administration.