Following several extensions, the state Department of Consumer Affairs said it is issuing a notice that all municipalities operating on calendar-year budget cycles must introduce their budgets by May 28, or they may be fined, spokeswoman Lisa Ryan said Friday.
“We extended the deadline a few times because we recognize many municipalities are facing a difficult budget year and need additional time to get their budgets in order,” Ryan said.
Egg Harbor Township has yet to introduce its budget and officials plan to do that May 26, said Mayor James J. “Sonny” McCullough.
Currently, McCullough said, the township still needs to find $1.3 million in cuts in order for any proposed tax increase to be under the state-mandated cap of a 4 percent. The township's spending is $1.8 million under the state spending cap, he said. “It’s a revenue problem, not a spending problem.”
Each cent of the tax rate raises $255,000 for the municipal budget, he said.
If municipalities introduce their budgets after the May 28 deadline, officials could be fined. “We want to emphasize that our goal is for compliance, it is not to fine people,” Ryan said in an e-mail.