Cresci Responds to Mayor Davis
We are glad that Jimmy Davis took the time from yet another week’s vacation in Florida to lend his name to the Statement Bernardsville Resident Joe Demarco, a.k.a. “Bernardsville Joe” (Bayonne’s Business Administrator) fashioned for the press this afternoon. It is clear that Roselle Park Resident Andrew Casais (Chief of Staff) likewise knows little of our City’s finances or the facts surrounding the Revaluation as Ordered by the State of New Jersey, through the Hudson County Tax Board. The following is offered to correct the record on the desperate statement put out by City Hall this afternoon:
City Finances. For the second year in a row, the Davis Administration is set to raise taxes by almost 9% (City, BBOE, and HC), in addition to a 13% Water/Sewer increase. The water increase was established in part because $11.4 million which was the rate stabilization fund was raided by Mr. Demarco to cover his habitual and continuous spending. It’s clear the City Council never passed a resolution accepting the over $11 million from the BMUA. Further, a recent hearing established under oath that “Bernardsville Joe” has hired over 119 employees since he took over. In fact today, three more employees were hired: Bremner (DPW), Klumpp (DPW), and Tassone was hired to replace the Recycling Coordinator-who cannot handle the position. Rather than terminate incompetence, the City is rewarding it by transferring incompetence, and hiring another on the Taxpayers’ dime. “Bernardsville Joe” does not comprehend, that people are unhappy with their tax bills, and their services including garbage/recycling (especially those mounds of rat infested refuse piles in the school yards). Jimmy Davis fails to attend Council Meetings (North Street, Abatements, etc), Zoning Meetings (Circumventing Zoning Laws for a select few), or Planning Meetings (recent Resnick Project), so his exposure to the Citizens’ disgust with his performance is limited.
Jimmy Davis and his “Cast of Out-of-Towners” took an oath of office to uphold the laws of this Country, State, and City. Why is “Bernardsville Joe” afraid to accept the law? -because this will stop the spending spree he has been on since July 2014. The New Jersey Constitution, Article VIII, Section 1, Par.1 requires that all real property, with the exception of agricultural land, be assessed at “the same standard of value.” See also N.J.S.A. 54:4-23 for “full and fair value.” As you know real property is required to be assessed at true value, or 100%. The Hudson County Board of Taxation shall require this Revaluation over the City of Bayonne; supervisory authority of the Tax Assessor is found, N.J.S.A. 54:3-16. 1989 was the last ordered revaluation and 1991 was the last effective year of the revaluation. Ratio is now 41.81; it should be 100%. Revals should be done every 10 years.
Politics plays no role in a Revaluation; it comes into play by trying to stop one. Jimmy Davis should be aware that his own Law Director and Tax Assessor agreed to the Order during the Hudson County Tax Board’s Meeting of Thursday, April 7, 2016. In fact their approach was to not only have Jersey City, Weehawken, and Bayonne but to order the other 8 municipalities in Hudson County to have a Revaluation as required under the New Jersey Constitution. Far from political, Dennis Schilling, Director of Division of Taxation and Donald Kenny, Administrator Hudson County Tax Board have been aware of the requirement to Order a Revaluation since July 24, 2015 (almost a year ago) when the process started. Further, N.J.S.A. 54:4-23 requires “Full and Fair” value of the property. So contrary to “Bernardsville Joe’s” assertion, your property taxes will not go up. In fact, if you filed a tax appeal in the last 3-5 years, you likely have close to Fair Market Value Assessment of your property. What is going to change is the under-assessed properties, which the City of Bayonne has failed to take action on, such as a For- Profit Medical Center; an abandoned high school (HFA) which serves no purpose; closed grammar schools for which the Diocese of Newark have shuttered and ignored, Riparian (water) rights along our great Peninsula, to name a few. These and other actions will increase the Assessments in our town and create new Taxable Properties. The key is to stop spending money we don’t have.
If the City Council wants to get serious about the election promises they made, Enforce Ordinance #20-16 which requires all non-uniform employees to be bona- fide residents of the City of Bayonne. Terminate the out-of-town administrators, save over $350,000 in salaries and benefits. Further, the Council would call for an immediate Forensic Audit of the City of Bayonne’s finances. Further, the proposed fictional budget, which includes a $15 million property sale, cannot be counted upon to fix this budget (another one-time revenue shot); a sale that may not go through.
In addition, we suggest the following: 1). Hiring Freeze; 2). No Overtime; 3).Abolish Stipends; 4). Freeze promotions and salary increases for non-union employees.
Thank you for your professional attention to this matter. We may be reached at 201.436.4126 or 1Crescilegal@gmail.com.