Point Pleasant Beach Introduces Budget with Average $112 Tax Hike
Council cannot schedule adoption date until after state reviews proposed budget
The municipal portion of the overall tax rate is expected to increase by about 1.6 cents per $100 of assessed value in a proposed Point Pleasant Beach budget of about $11.6 million.
The council introduced the budget Tuesday night. There is no date scheduled yet for public hearing and adoption because the budget must first be reviewed by the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA), said Mayor Vincent Barrella.
The tax increase of $398,702 reflects an increased tax rate of 23.2 cents to 24.8 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, Barrella said.
He said the increase is approximately the same as last year's hike.
That means that the owner of a home assessed at the Beach average of $697,000 will pay $111.52 more per year or a little more than $9 per month, Barrella said.
At the Tuesday night meeting, Councilman Michael Corbally said, "We believe this is a fair budget. But I don't think any of us are happy with it."
Barrella said, at the meeting, "We're under the spending cap, about $1.7 million less than the state says we could be spending."
"So for all of those who say Point Pleasant Beach has a spending problem, I would say no, the Beach has a revenue problem," he said.
Barrella said on Friday that every few years, the DCA reviews each municipality's proposed budget and this happens to be a year when DCA reviews the Beach's proposed budget.
It is not yet known when that review will be completed, so no date can be set for adoption yet.
Even if the DCA was not to review the proposed budget, state law dictates that municipalities must wait at least 28 days after introduction to adopt a budget, Barrella said.
To garner additional revenue, the council is considering a number of measures, including increasing certain parking and event fees.
In addition, Barrella said he is hoping to get state approval for the Beach to develop additional revenue streams similar to those used by some other municipalities.
For example, he said Newark is able to collect 15 percent of fees charged by private parking lots.
"That would have been half a million dollars for us, which would have solved a lot of budget problems," Barrella said.
"We may have to sue to be able to do that," he said.
Councilman Jeffrey Dyer was absent Tuesday night.