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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Wildwood Introduces ’21 Budget; Tax Rate Increase Included

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By Press Release

WILDWOOD – The City of Wildwood today introduced its 2021 municipal budget, which calls for a 1.9-cent increase in the tax rate. 

According to a release, for the average residential home assessed at $205,500, homeowners will see an approximate $39.04 increase in their tax bill.  

“When elected a year ago, the commissioners made a commitment that the city would begin to turn away from out-of-line annual tax increases. I believe keeping the tax rate within the cost of living effectively demonstrates that the city is on the right financial path,” Mayor Peter Byron stated.  

Byron noted that not only does the budget meet its operational obligations, but it also provides significant funding for parks and street maintenance, as well as an aggressive capital program to improve the city’s infrastructure.  

“As the administration continues to methodically cut line-item expenses, consolidating departments, and reducing staff with a stringent attrition plan, I believe the city is well-positioned to contain future costs, making excessive tax increases a thing of the past,” Byron stated.  

Commissioners Krista Fitzsimons and Steve Mikulski also expressed their optimism that the 2021 spending plan is setting the framework to achieve long-term financial stability for the city.  

Fitzsimons stated, “In light of the significant loss in revenues last year in mercantile licenses, parking and permit fees caused by the pandemic, coupled with the continual decline in court fines, I am especially thrilled that we were able to keep the tax increase to a minimum while maintaining a healthy surplus and avoiding any one-time budget gimmicks.”  

Mikulski added that turning the tide on large tax increases is key to attracting business and residential development in Wildwood.  

“As resort communities throughout the county are witnessing an extraordinary demand in real estate properties, I believe sustaining a reasonable tax rate will help build buyer’s confidence in the affordability of investing in Wildwood. Meaningful growth in our city will inevitable reduce the burden on local taxpayers,” Mikulski stated.  

The mayor and commissioners acknowledged the efforts of the business administrator, professional staff, and the other city employees for their hard work and cooperation in developing this year’s budget.  

“My colleagues and I applaud the efforts and outstanding commitment of our employees in serving the residents of our city, especially during the continuing Covid-19 pandemic,” stated Byron. 

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