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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Wildwood Crest Budget Calls for 1.5-cent Tax Rate Increase

Wildwood Crest Budget Calls for 1.5-cent Tax Rate Increase

By Christopher South

Wildwood Crest Borough Hall
File Photo
Wildwood Crest Borough Hall

WILDWOOD CREST – The Board of Commissioners has approved a $28.6 million municipal budget for 2024 that includes a 1.5-cent tax rate increase.

The municipal tax rate will increase from 0.70 per $100 of assessed value in 2023 to 0.715 in 2024.

The average assessment in town is $450,000, and the owner of such a home would pay an additional $66 in municipal taxes this year, for a total local purpose tax of $3,216, plus county and school taxes.

Municipal auditor Mike Garcia of the Ford Scott accounting firm said the borough will collect $17,044,609, or about an additional $509,000, in property taxes.

Garcia said the 2024 municipal budget of $28,595,589, approved March 27, maintains all municipal services and accounts for improvements. He said the borough will collect approximately 3% more in property taxes this year over the previous year, primarily to meet rising costs due to labor contracts and the minimum wage increase; however, the borough is appropriating $583,000 less than in 2023.

He said the borough is spending about $120,000 more in employee health-care costs, $210,000 more toward pensions and $230,000 more toward bond anticipation notes.

The borough is applying $3.7 million of its surplus to the 2024 budget and will end the year with $5.2 million in surplus, while remaining $157,000 under the state-mandated spending cap and $1.6 million below the state levy cap. At the same time, Garcia said, the borough is earning more on bank interest than in the past.

The borough’s tax collection rate is currently 98.7%, which is the same as the prior year.

Contact the author, Christopher South, at csouth@cmcherald.com or 609-886-8600, ext. 128.

Reporter

Christopher South is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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