Hoboken voters should vote "No" on Public Question #5 on November 6. While few would disagree with the need for open space in Hoboken, a tax increase (and the likely corresponding increases in rent) on already overburdened taxpayers is wrong. Taxpayers should be aware that the proposed tax increase only relates to the amount that would be used to meet the down payment on a particular parcel on land (usually only 20 percent).
Not revealed as part of Public Question #5 is the additional tax increase that would be imposed in the future to cover bonding and other amounts that would need to be paid for the complete acquisition of that parcel of land (i.e., the other 80 percent). The actual cost to Hoboken's taxpayers will be five times more than the proposed amount.
While it has been argued by one Councilman that the tax increase would be offset from subsequent spending cuts, we are not convinced that this will happen, especially given recent tax and spending increases and the failure to identify specific expenses that would be cut. If these spending cuts are indeed viable, then there should be no need for a special tax when the fund could be created from other expenses cut from the budget.
In addition, we do not believe that any fund created by taxpayers will compete with the deep pockets of developers that are interested in acquiring a particular parcel of land. NJ taxpayers already pay the second highest taxes in the nation such that we rank 4th in residents moving out of NJ; enough is enough. The Hoboken Republicans are of the view that Public Question No. 5, together with all of the other public questions, should receive a "No" vote.
Peter S. Morgan