Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Newark Council Adopts Budget
Includes tax hike of 4.6 percent

Newark City Council OK'd a $616 million budget with five of nine votes Thursday during a special meeting, according to city officials.
The adopted spending plan includes a 4.6 percent tax increase.

The vote comes a week after Newark Mayor Cory Booker said the city will receive a $32 million loan from the state of New Jersey to fill its then-$57 million deficit. In exchange, the state will oversee Newark's finances for the next year.
"The municipal council's adoption of the 2011 budget will help the city meet its fiscal obligations, while limiting the impact on the delivery of essential services to the public," said Julien Neals, the city's business administrator. "The city will begin the process of preparing the 2012 budget as we work towards our ultimate goal of eliminating any structural deficit by 2013."
Last week, Booker said the state loan filled only a percentage of the city's deficit, leaving $25 million. On Friday, however, city officials said they whittled the $57 million down to $32 million by Thursday through "additional departmental budget cuts." But when asked what those cuts were, officials declined to elaborate.
Newark Councilman Ronald C. Rice said the city chipped away the $25 million by cutting future spending. He said the adopted budget calls for no layoffs or furloughs of city employees.
In the past 18 months, the mayor said officials reduced city payroll to the lowest number since 1988 and decreased the city's structural deficit by more than $100 million.
Council members Carlos Gonzalez, Anibal Ramos, Rice and Darrin Sharif and Council President Donald Payne voted to adopt the budget, according to officials. Council members Augusto Amador and Luis Quintana voted no. Council members Ras Baraka and Mildred Crump were absent.
The budget's tax increase means Newark residents will pay an average of $260 more on a property valued at roughly $175,000.
While the budget still calls for a tax hike, Rice said it's less than the 7 percent originally introduced by Booker in July, "Obviously, no one likes to have a tax increase, but, when you compare our budget to other cities around the country and in New Jersey, it's not a bad budget."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Newark City Council introduces $769M budget for 2011; property taxes to rise 6 percent!

The Newark City Council introduced the proposed 2011 city budget today by a vote of 5 to 4. The $769 million spending plan calls for $584 million in municipal appropriations and a 6 percent property tax hike over last year. The budget, which the council rejected two weeks ago, has a deficit of $57.5 million. Over the next month the city will try to find more revenue, as well as negotiate with the state to find ways to fill the gap. Council members Mildred Crump, Carlos Gonzalez, Ronald C. Rice, Darrin Sharif and Council President Donald Payne Jr. voted to introduce. Council members Augusto Amador, Ras Baraka, Luis Quintana and Anibal Ramos voted against the measure.The first public hearing on the budget was scheduled for Sept. 8.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Stop the Violence rally @ City Hall on Thursday, August 4

We have been advised that a Stop the Violence rally will be held at Newark City Hall, Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. This protest is in response to the recent increase in violence.

This information is being provided for informational purposes only.