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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Reval Lowers Cape May Tax Rate

By Jack Fichter

CAPE MAY- City Council introduced its 2010 budget which includes a 2.5 cent increase in the local purpose tax rate but the tax rate is actually decreasing due to revaluation of properties.
The reval increased the assessed value of properties from $2.2 billion to $2.7 billion. The local purpose tax rate will reflect a 4.3 cent decrease, lowering the rate per $100 of assessed value from 32 cents to 27 cents.
A property with an assessed value of $500,000 will pay $138.50 in local purpose taxes to the city.
Auditor Leon Costello said Cape May has one of the lowest tax levy to budget ratios in the county at 40 to 42 percent. The local purpose tax levy raises $7.7 million, up $578,818 from last year.
Costello said if the governor caps tax increases at 2.5 percent instead of the current 4 percent, it means “if you don’t have the funds, you can’t spend the funds.”
He said he believed the governor’s proposal for a 2.5 percent caps on property tax hikes was designed to slim down operations and benefits for employees of municipalities.
Costello said Cape May has a small staff.
The city stands to lose $433,000 of state aid from energy receipts revenue from Gov. Christie’s proposed budget cuts. Costello said that would have a minimal effect on the city’s $15.2 million budget.
Council is expected to hold its budget hearing on April 21. He said it’s possible the state may not set local tax rates until July.
Costello said Cape May needed to keep its revenue stream strong.

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