WOODBINE — The borough’s local purpose tax rate will remain steady for another year under a proposed 2014 spending plan introduced at Thursday night’s council meeting.
Chief Finance Officer Jack Miller said the borough has been able to accomplish this through shared-service agreements with other municipalities, streamlining of borough government and pursuit of grant funding from the state and federal government.
“We’re a small town, and we’ve found ways to do more with less,” he said.
The 2014 budget calls for a total spending plan of $1,791,200, not including federal and state grants, which puts it about 3 percent over the borough’s 2013 budget. It also has slightly more than $1 million in grant funds to put toward various improvement projects, and that number could rise as grant opportunities come in, Mayor William Pikolycky said.
Under the proposed budget, the tax rate will remain at 23.5 cents per $100 of assessed value, which would mean the owner of an average home worth about $200,000 would pay a little less than $500 in local-purpose taxes.
All told, the borough will collect about $2.6 million in tax revenue from its $176 million in ratables this year, keeping about $410,000 in its coffers after giving the county and school district their share. The school will receive about $1.2 million of that total, Pikolycky said.
The rest of the $1.79 million in spending will be drawn from other sources, such as the $400,000 the borough receives for hosting the Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority’s sanitary landfill.
Miller said a number of factors have allowed the borough to keep the burden off its taxpayers, among them the consolidation of borough jobs. For example, he serves as both the borough’s tax assessor and its chief financial officer, while borough Clerk Lisa Garrison also serves as tax collector.
Shared-service agreements with other municipalities also keep costs low, Pikolycky said, citing Woodbine’s use of Middle Township’s municipal court complex as one such savings.
Pikolycky said the town has about $4 million worth of construction projects under construction or in the pipeline, with the bulk of the funds coming from grants. Pikolycky said this total includes $400,000 to rehabilitate the borough’s water tower, $300,000 for road-improvement projects and a little more than $1 million for drainage improvements as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
“We work hard at what we try to do, and take advantage of the programs that are available to us,” he said. “We hope these programs continue to be there so that we don’t have to rely on the local taxpayers.”
A public hearing on the municipal budget will be held at the April 17 Borough Council meeting.
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