Misinformation in the public regarding possible layoffs has caused undue panic, and I’d like to take a moment to clear up the confusion.
Every year since 2004, the City Council has passed resolutions for an accelerated tax sale to make up budget shortfalls at the end of the fiscal year. A significant portion of the taxes owed to the city comes from LLCs, not citizens. This year, that will account for about $2.6 million the City needs to prevent a budget shortfall. If the resolution does not pass, the domino effect will compound the shortfall to nearly $6.8 million, which would need to be addressed by the end of the fiscal year on June 30. It is the role of the City Council to pass the budget, and any shortfalls on their part means the Administration has to make tough decisions.
That could potentially mean necessary and unavoidable cuts to Police, Fire, and City Hall services. It pains me to have to plan for this outcome. These are our friends and neighbors who work hard to serve our City, and they do not deserve to be in this position. Unfortunately, without the resolution, these cuts would be the only way for the City to meet its financial obligations in such a short period of time.
Again, the passage of the accelerated tax sale has happened every year since 2004 and was projected when the budget was presented to the Council last year. My Administration wants to avoid these cuts with the passage of the resolution. This is a burden previous administrations have thrust onto our shoulders after years of mismanagement and a reality we must now address.
While we plan for the worst, we urge the Council to do the right thing.
To help educate seniors and others who may need a little more time on their taxes, the City will be conducting workshops throughout Trenton to help educate taxpayers. We believe the Council will vote to pass the accelerated tax sale so that we might move forward with a budget without any layoffs or reduction in services to the city.
This is a position none of us wanted to be in, but together, we must make responsible and incremental progress to ensure our City’s economic future without sacrificing necessary services.
Cell: (609) 575-1880
Office: (609) 989-3047