WEST WILDWOOD — The borough expects its local tax rate to increase nearly 4 cents under its 2014 budget plan.

Last year, the local purpose tax rate was 56.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, according to Cape May County’s 2013 tax rate summary chart.

Under the new $2.13 million budget, the rate is expected to go up to 60.5 cents.

That means the local tax on a home valued at $200,000 would increase by $78 from $1,132 to $1,210.

That amount does not include school, county, open space or library taxes.

According to the 2014 budget, the total tax levy, the amount collected by the borough from taxpayers, is up from $1.43 million in 2013 to $1.52 million this year.

Borough Administrator Chris Ridings said the rate increase was due to increases in routine operating expenses, such as utilities.

“It’s just the general cost of running things,” he said.

Ridings said the borough has 14 full-time employees and three part-time employees, the same as last year.

“It is absolutely as bare bones as it could be,” he said of the spending plan.

Increases include an additional $25,000 for legal expenses, $57,000 in police department salaries and wages, and $18,000 for worker’s compensation insurance.

Other areas, such as public works salaries and wages, saw a decrease of $37,110.

At a recent greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce meeting, Mayor Christopher Fox said the borough had “beefed up” its Police Department and added funds for the town’s Fourth of July celebration.

He said the borough would like to see the return of Urban Enterprise Zone funds, which were an additional source of funding for the small community.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 2 in Borough Hall.

Contact Trudi Gilfillian:

609-463-6716