Mayor Fulop Unveils $612 million Municipal Budget with No Tax Increase
Increased Investments in Public Safety, Afterschool Programming, and other Critical Resident Resources
JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop announces $612 million municipal budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year with no tax increases, while the city continues to expand services to better serve residents – including the lowest crime rates in city history, new affordable housing resources, expanding critical health services, the largest police and fire departments in decades, while also increasing accountability and oversight citywide. This year’s budget is consistent with the Fulop Administration’s long-term planning goals to increase efficiency and fiscal management and rely less on tax abatements to balance a budget.
“For 6 out of the last 8 years we have worked to create budgets with no tax increase, yet we continue to see progress at every level, an accomplishment few others cities in the state have done,” said Mayor Fulop. “We are introducing the budget earlier this year than ever before, in an effort to ensure adequate time to thoughtfully go through this process.”
An audit review team has been established to ensure city government is operating at the highest efficiency and lowest cost. This year’s budget seeks out new areas to generate revenue while also restructuring several departments to help improve efficiency. Despite a decrease in Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) revenue, as the administration has not allowed one in 3 years, the city continues to serve as a model for expanding resident services, and as one of the most socially progressive midsized cities in the nation, Jersey City consistently receives credit rating upgrades year after year. This latest budget looks to maintain and grow vital city services with new and enhanced affordable housing resources, public safety, youth development, widespread park improvements, and health services to name a few.
“While crafting this year’s budget, we analyzed every aspect to ensure the greatest efficiency without burden to the taxpayers,” said Brian Platt, Business Administrator. “Jersey City is also leading the state in progressive initiatives with the introduction of the first city-run bus system to alleviate transit woes, the first to mandate an electric municipal fleet, the installation of solar panels and charging stations, among other innovative and cost-saving measures.”
Additional highlights of this year’s budget include:
- Staffing to reach Administration’s goal of 1,000 JCPD officers
- Full staffing of all fire companies 24/7 for full protection citywide
- More building and construction inspectors
- Better oversight and accountability for overtime across the city
- Restructuring the Department of Recreation and Youth Development to provide a wider range of programs for youth development beyond athletics
- Expansion of the Housing Preservation Office
- Investments in more technology to improve city operations and services (e.g. park mobile, digital council agenda, etc.)
- New audit review team to ensure our city government is operating at the highest efficiency and lowest cost
- Establishing the Office of Affordable Housing to streamline services for residents
- Widespread park improvements in every ward, including the historic preservation and public access at Reservoir 3
- Expanded Quality of Life Task Force to respond to community concerns
“While creating our budget, we also recognized the Board of Education is struggling with their finances, and we want to make sure our children, parents, and teachers are top priority. In addition to the maximum funding we’re providing the schools through payroll tax revenue, we’re also working on a plan to fix the BOE budget to help them dig out of this large deficit and set the path for future balanced budgeting,” Mayor Fulop concluded.
The municipal budget will be introduced at the next City Council meeting.