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Bret Schundler Media Archives

Governor James McGreevey
Hudson County Politics
Hudson County Facts

For Release:
Immediate
September 10, 2001

In Case You Missed It
Star-Ledger Documents “Tale of Two Cities,” compares Schundler and McGreevey records

On management styles:
“McGreevey … emerges as a [man] who confronted budgetary shortfalls with a mix of belt-tightening, tax increases and borrowing … Schundler, the former Republican mayor of Jersey City, displayed a more innovative flair with finances, finding ways to avoid tax increases ...

On taxes:
“On municipal taxes, for instance, Schundler has held the line much more strictly than McGreevey has -- using the last nonelection year before each man took office as a baseline.

“According to figures from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, the tax bill paid by the average homeowner has gone up 3 percent a year in Woodbridge since 1990 … In Jersey City, the tax bill has gone up 1.4 percent a year since 1991.”

“The tax numbers do not tell the whole story, however. Schundler has done some extraordinary financial juggling to keep the city's tax bills down. Among his moves: He squeezed surplus funds from the city water utility, and sold the Cavens Point ballfield to the board of education for $8.7 million …

“McGreevey, meanwhile, has avoided the kind of creative budgeting Schundler employed, choosing instead to raise taxes in nonelection years to keep up with the growing cost of township services. Each time he has run for office since 1995 -- twice for mayor and twice for governor -- he has kept the tax rate flat. In the three off years, the tax rate went up -- by 8.5 percent in 1996, 11.2 percent in 1998 and 7 percent in 2000.”

On crime:
“Under Schundler, total crime dropped by 38.7 percent, while the state experienced a 32.6 percent drop. Violent crime went down 36.2 percent, compared with 33.7 percent statewide. During McGreevey’s tenure, total crime has decreased by 38.2%, compared with 37 percent statewide. Violent crime in Woodbridge, however, has gone up by 13.4 percent, while it has dropped statewide by 34.3 percent.”

Source: Newark Star-Ledger, Tales of 2 Cities Define Rivals in Governor’s Race, September 9, 2001


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