Mayor Signs Executive Order after Council Votes Down Budget on Deadline
Gusciora Administration calls emergency meeting Friday for last chance passage
TRENTON, N.J. – Facing a November 25 deadline and multimillion dollar consequences, Council leaders voted down the City’s budget in the final scheduled 2022 budget meeting tonight — leaving the City without a spending plan with less than six weeks left in the year.
Without a municipal budget, the City faces bond default, disqualification of future bond applications, among other ramifications.
“Council leadership is intent on hurting taxpayers on their way out the door,” Mayor Reed Gusciora said. “I’m not going to let it happen. Anything I can do to protect our citizens, I’m going to do.”
Following the failed vote, Gusciora issued an executive order instituting the amended City budget, while at the same time he asked Council to supersede his order by meeting once more this week to finalize the budget. The administration is delivering notice to Council members for an emergency meeting at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 25.
In April, Council passed a resolution receiving Gusciora’s proposed budget with no municipal tax increase, but they missed a state-mandated deadline for passage. As of October 1, all six City Council members have been accruing fines $25 per day for not meeting their obligation to pass a municipal budget in a timely manner, per State law.
“The budget is a core duty of the legislative branch and that duty has been fully abdicated in Trenton,” Gusciora said. “Even the rebuke they received at the ballot box hasn’t stopped this group from inflicting pain on taxpayers for political payback. It’s absolutely repugnant.”
The City transitioned from a fiscal year budget to a calendar year budget in 2021, so the 2022 budget proposal represented an unprecedented 30-month stretch where the City did not need to raise the municipal portion of tax rates.