In that January missive, Mayor Bret Schundler spoke about rising property values but later chastised the state for "cutting real revenue sharing with Jersey City."
Yet it was a surprise for some to open their bill and see their names.
"Indeed," the letter reads, "in the neighborhoods where some of my naysayers live, individuals like Yvonne Balcer and Mia Scanga, property values have increased by more than 100%."
"When I first saw it," said Scanga, a certified public accountant, "it gave me a sick feeling."
The mayor's office defended the mailing.
"The mayor thought it was an opportune time," said Schundler's chief of staff Tom Gallagher, "to correct the record. They're one of a small group that continue to distort the mayor's record."
But the attack may have had an alternate impact.
"The old adage is you ignore people and hope they'll go away," said Scanga. "By mentioning their name, it implies they're getting under the skin. It also implies credibility."
Some city officials, speaking off the record, echoed those sentiments.
In the letter, Schundler notes the city laid off close to 500 employees in recent years, but also claims that the state is providing less "real funding," adjusted for inflation.
"If the state had not cut its funding," it reads, "and had instead choose (sic) to simply increase it with the rate of inflation, your municipal tax bill would be 14 percent lower."
The letter went out to approximately 46,000 property owners.
Balcer, a frequent letter-to-the-editor writer and a mainstay in City Council meetings, had a different point - using taxpayer money to write what she views as a political letter.
"I have no problem with the mayor using his stamps, his envelope, to write an opinion to your paper," the New York parochial school teacher said. "The problem is he's using taxpayers' money for this. He's politicking." Responded Gallagher: "I'm not aware that Yvonne is a political official. If she's going to run for office, I wish her well."
As for the claim that property values had doubled, Balcer had this to say: "If everything has doubled and is hot, why is there a need for abatements?"
Gallagher isn't sure why Balcer and Scanga are so upset.
"Are they naysayers?" he asked. "I think so. I thought it was gentle."