Hoboken Tax Reform Coalition
Where Do our Mayoral & City Council Candidates Stand on the Issues?
The objective of the Hoboken Tax Reform Coalition is to drive a significant reduction in property taxes
without compromising the safety and soundness of Hoboken. We appreciate your taking time to answer the
following questions that will explain your position on issues of importance, as set forth in our mission
statement, to the members of the HTRC and the taxpayers of Hoboken.
1. Objective: Drive a significant reduction in property taxes without compromising the
safety and soundness of Hoboken.
o Question: Do you agree that the annual operating budget for Hoboken should be
What do you think the appropriate budget for each of the next five years
Do you have a detailed plan to accomplish this?
• If so, what are the significant initiatives you will support to reduce the
annual operating budget?
• What is the timeline to implement the plan?
• Please explain any calculations of savings that may be included in your
What concessions, if any, will be necessary in the upcoming Police and Fire
contracts in order to achieve the target budgets you propose?
What revenue-enhancement opportunities do you see?
2. Objective: Set standards for smart PILOTs that improve the fiscal condition of Hoboken.
o Question: What are the specific quantifiable criteria that should be used to determine
if a proposed PILOT brings “value-added” to Hoboken?
o How do existing PILOTs fare against your standard for evaluating new PILOTs?
o Have you conducted any analysis of existing PILOTs to determine whether the terms
of the agreements are being met and whether the City is obtaining the correct
revenue stream based upon the current contracts?
In light of such analysis, what proposals, if any, do you have for modification
or elimination of existing PILOTs upon expiration or through negotiations?
Do you have a plan for transitioning PILOTs when they cannot be legally
3. Objective: Remove the taxpayer guarantee to the Hoboken University Medical Center.
o Question: Are you fully informed about the financial status and quality of care of
the hospital? Do you think that Hoboken should continue to own the hospital or do
you think it should be spun off back into a free-standing, not-for-profit institution by
the end of 2009, free of the City bond guarantee or other financial support?
If so, what plan do you have to accomplish this transition?
If not, what is your understanding of the taxpayer exposure in the event that
the hospital should fail? What plan would you put in place to protect the
The hospital lost $11 million last year ($4 million operating loss, plus
necessary accruals for long term capital repairs). The portion of the $52 million
bond that was allocated for operating expenses has been fully used. How do
you see filling the gap if the hospital continues to operate at a loss?
4. Objective: Force the initiation of a property revaluation, as per current law.
o Question: Do your support the immediate initiation of a revaluation for Hoboken
with a set date for implementation of January 2011?
If so, what specific proposals do you have in this regard?
If not, what is the justification in light of State law mandating identifying
triggers for periodic revaluations?
5. Objective: Act as a fiscal watchdog/public advocate for the taxpayers of Hoboken.
o Question: How will you increase fiscal transparency and accountability in
How will you involve the public more in the policy-making process and
How will you make City Council meetings more inclusive? Do you believe
that the five minute public comment rule is appropriate?
6. Objective: Downsize county government to provide only essential non-duplicative
o Question: What specific duplicative and/or unnecessary county services would you
publicly campaign to close or eliminate?
What services could be regionalized rather than provided separately in every
Hudson County town?
7. Objective: Explore a change in the form of Hoboken government to one which is more
transparent, accountable and responsive.
o Question: Have you considered whether a different form of local government,
authorized under the Faulkner statute would provide more transparency,
accountability, austerity and responsiveness?
If so, what form of government, if any, do you think could better achieve these
goals and why?
Would you support initiating an immediate change to that form of
If not, why not?
8. Objective: Increase the Board of Education’s fiscal accountability and measure
improvements in performance.
o Question: How would you make the BoE fiscally accountable to City Hall and the
o Question: How would you benchmark and measure student, teacher and
o Question: Would you support and institute an investigation to determine whether
any unapproved non-Hoboken resident students are enrolled in the Hoboken school
o Question: Would you support consolidation of schools as a means of reducing