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Sunday, May 19, 2024


Cape May Touts Successful Summer

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By Vince Conti

CAPE MAY – The city’s chief finance officer (CFO) Neil Young gave the governing body a year-to-date financial report Sept. 20. The report, which extended through the end of August, gave evidence of a very successful summer season. Occupancy tax revenue, mercantile license fees, construction revenue and beach tag sales were all up over what was already a successful 2021 year. 
With four months remaining, the city’s year promises to add to the financial strength of a municipality with a general fund surplus that began the year at $9.9 million. Each of the city’s three utilities also shows positive financial results in 2022. 
The water and sewer utility has the smallest increase over 2021 at $62,000. The utility is seeing an unexpected and unexplained drop in water consumption at Cape May Point, a separate municipal customer of the city’s water utility. Young said efforts were underway to better understand the drop in consumption which he said might be a reaction to a rise in water rates in 2022. That loss in revenue was offset by a drop of over $500,000 in the fees due to the county municipal utilities authority, Young said. This shift was a result of lower sewer flows than in previous years.
The beach utility had a very positive revenue year, with beach tag sales up year-to-date by $150,000. The CFO said over two-thirds of the beach tag revenue came from sales at the beach rather than at city hall.
An increase in events helped the tourism utility this year. The utility also benefited from growth in lease revenue from individuals and organizations that rented space at Convention Hall. Tourism utility revenue is up $427,000.
Young acknowledged the recent decision by a state commission to approve increases in public worker health benefits costs by over 20%. He said he had not yet seen the plan numbers and was not yet able to inform the council of the exact impact the increase will have on the 2023 budget. 

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