City Homeowners’ Tax Bills Rise As Paterson Bleeds Ratables
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 • 8:44am
PATERSON, NJ – The city’s dwindling tax base will hit Paterson homeowners in their wallets this year.
As a result of declining ratables, Paterson’s 2013 tax increase will end up being more than twice as high as it would have been if the tax base had remained stable, according to reports provided by city officials.
Municipal taxes will rise by $417 per year on a $350,000 house under the 2013 budget approved by the City Council Tuesday night. More than half of that increase - or $223 – will result from Paterson’s loss of $405 million worth of ratables during the past year, according to city officials. The rest of the increase – or $194 – will stem from a $4.88 million increase in the total amount of taxes that the city plans to collect under the 2013 budget
“The fact is we’re bleeding ratables,’’ said Councilman Julio Tavarez during Tuesday’s budget discussion. “We’re going to find ourselves in a bigger hole next year.’’
Tavarez asked Mayor Jeffery Jones about his plans for boosting the city’s tax base. Jones said his administration recently completed a study focusing on 30 of Paterson’s old mills in an effort to find ways they could be put to use again. The mayor said the city has held discussions with the International Council of Shopping Centers about converting some of the mills into factory outlet malls.
The loss of ratables does come with a bright side for city taxpayers. The amount of taxes Paterson will pay towards Passaic County government will drop by 16 percent this year, down to $39 million. As a result, the county taxes on a $350,000 house will be $111 lower this year than last, according to statistic provided by municipal officials. That will offset about a quarter of the municipal government tax increase.
Eight of the nine council members voted in favor of the budget Tuesday night, with Councilman Andre Sayegh being the only one to vote against it.
With the passage of the budget, the city plans to mail out what normally are its February tax bills on March 18. The final tax bills for this fiscal year will be sent on April 15, according to City Finance Director Anthony Zambrano.