The City and the Fulop administration has just sent out its estimated third quarter property tax bill to the tax payers of Jersey City. This is the first tax bill sent out under the Fulop administration where the newly elected mayor and city council had complete control over the city’s budget. In the mayor’s accompanying letter, the administration lays claim to a property tax reduction of 2.1 percent. After the disastrous Healy administration’s dramatic tax increases, this 2.1 percent tax decrease is a welcome respite to tax payers. The Fulop administration has taken some good first steps to get the City’s budget under control, and he is to be congratulated on his efforts. However, let’s put things in little perspective. The 2.1 percent tax decrease amounts, in my particular circumstances, to a quarterly savings of $31. Think of all the great things I can do with this extra $31 this quarter. Oh wait, I can’t even buy my family a dinner out with $31.
It would have been nice if my property taxes were reduced enough for me to provide a month’s worth of education expenses for my child. Or maybe the reduction would have been enough for me to repair the 25 feet of sidewalk in front of my house. Perhaps it would have even been nice for me to afford an extra donation to that local charity I support. But, alas, I cannot even afford to buy dinner at one of the many new restaurants that are opening in town. We have all been deprived of many of the things we would want to buy for ourselves, our families, and our community thanks to the previous administration’s tax increases. The 2.1 percent tax decrease was needed, but it is simply not enough. Mayor Fulop’s letter further states that the introduced budget provides the City Council with the flexibility to reduce taxes by 5.6 percent. Everyone should urge his or her city council representative to take up this offer of flexibility. We need as much tax reduction as fast as possible in order to get back some of the spending flexibility we as taxpayers have lost during the last administration.