But with another $24 million in state taxpayer dollars needed for city coffers this year, it is unclear how much longer the state’s patience will hold out. If the state revokes the aid, the city will be left scrambling to cover the difference.
One of the biggest items confounding city leaders is a proposal to create a municipal utilities authority to run Newark’s troubled water system. In 2010, Booker suffered a major blow when the MUA, a linchpin in his budget plan, was tabled by the council.
Giambusso’s comprehensive overview of the city’s financial standing reveals a knotted web of interdependencies:
- The city will be short $24M this year
- (Well, maybe: the city’s finance department may have found $18M)
- A water authority has again been proposed by the mayor
- The city’s 100-year-old water infrastructure is desperately in need of repair
- There may be a state grant to cover the gap, if the council can agree to the proposed budget
- And residents will inevitably see a tax hike
What a mess.