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Sunday, April 21, 2024

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OC Mayor’s $99M Budget Includes ‘Small Increase’ in Tax Rate

Ocean City Logo
Ocean City Logo

By Vince Conti

OCEAN CITY – The formal consideration of an annual budget in Ocean City begins with Mayor Jay Gillian’s proposed budget.  

In 2023, Gillian said the budget will necessitate a “small increase” by which he is referencing a 3.69% increase that moves the local purpose tax rate from $0.4790 to $0.4967.  

The increase in the dollar tax levy for general fund purposes is 5.92% or $43.5 million, including the minimum library tax of $6.1 million. 

In terms of revenue, the budget calls for $99 million in total revenue, including $62.4 million in the local purpose tax levy. There is $19.6 million in revenue expected from local sources, the largest of which are parking at $4 million and beach fees at $5.2 million. The budget calls for use of $5.7 million of the total $11.1 million general fund surplus. 

With respect to expense, the budget calls for $35.8 million in salary and wages, up 9.4% from 2022, $30.2 million in operation and other expense, and $8.9 million for statutory payments and deferred charges. 

Debt service in the general fund budget is set at $19.1 million or 19% of total revenue budgeted. The budget for debt service is increased by $2 million over 2021. With the increase in 2023, almost $1 in every $5 of revenue goes to debt service. 

Total assessed value of property used for budget calculations in 2023 is $12.6 billion, up $263 million from 2022. 

The mayor’s budget is the start of a long process for formal consideration of a 2023 budget. Finance Director Frank Donato will provide a detailed presentation of the budget at the March 23 City Council meeting. The council will then set dates for formal introduction of a 2023 budget and for the required public hearing and vote to adopt. 

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