Somers Point council

SOMERS POINT - City Council voted Thursday to amend its budget after a standing room only crowd pleaded with council to make more cuts.

Council introduced its $14.3 million budget last month. To fund the budget, the city is seeking a nearly 7 percent increase in the amount to be raised by taxes, from $9.5 million to nearly $10.2 million.

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Residents have been critical of the proposed budget--an anonymous flyer that circulated through the town called for a large turnout Thursday.

Owners of homes assessed at the city average -- $216,700 this year -- would pay $1,847 on their 2014 local-purpose tax bill, $100 more than what they paid last year, when the average home was assessed at $125,732.

The proposed budget includes $300,000 in pending grants, one of which is a $30,000 reserved to evaluate shared service opportunities with nearby communities, as well as $100,00 in capital bonds for recreational projects including relocating the city's hockey field.

The city has began engaging in preliminary discussion with Ocean City regarding shared service opportunities.

Council has set May 8 for a hearing on the amended budget.

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