By Bill Cleary
The City of Gloucester City is one of seven communities in the immediate area to receive extraordinary aid from the New Jersey State Property Relief Act. The City received $300,000. The state notified the city earlier this month.
This year’s 2008-2009 proposed budget totals $16,439,000 or $613,313 more than last year's budget of $15,825,687. Under the proposed plan introduced in April the local purpose tax was to increase by 41 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. At that time taxes were to rise to $287 on an average home assessed at $70,000.
According to the advertised budget in the April 10 issue of the Gloucester City News, the City employs 105 fulltime workers and 74 part-time. The number of employees was the same in 2007.
Councilman Nick Marchese, Finance Chairman, was asked what effect the $300,000 would have on the taxes.
His prepared statement reads, “The initial tax increase that was submitted to the state showed an increase of approximately 41 cents per $100 of assessed value of a property. We are very happy to get the second highest amount of extraordinary aid in the County, $300,000. That will directly reduce taxes .09 cents leaving a new current increase of .32 cents per hundred of assessed valuation.
“The budget is not totally completed and could still see some substantial changes in the next coming weeks.
“The City also has to contend with changes in the new CAP laws and trying to keep the City under the CAP as directed by the State. There are State limits imposed on the amount of tax increase and expenditure increases that is allowed. We have confirmed that many other communities have already submitted to the local finance board, over the CAP numbers into six figures. The State has imposed some unobtainable goals for communities of which many cannot achieve.
“We feel as though Gloucester City is doing its best to cut spending and increase income to the City while conforming as much as possible and doing what is expected of us by the State. We will give you more information as it unfolds.”