EGG HARBOR CITY - City Council has introduced a $6.6 million budget that will increase taxes by about 7.3 percent.

The $6,600,106 budget is $365,829 less than the city's 2009 budget, but the tax levy, $3,694,803, and the tax rate per $100 of assessed value, $1.23, will increase by $293,689 and 9 cents respectively.

For a home assessed at $200,000, the municipal portion of the tax bill would increase $180 to $2,460.

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The city plans to put all of its surplus, or $131,145, toward the budget.

City Administrator Thomas Henshaw said the city's loss of approximately $80,000 in state aid will cause the budgets in all of the city's departments to be slashed.

"The future is being redesigned as we speak. We all understand that the state has to do something. It can't continue to work in a deficit and continue to increase that deficit," he said. "So this is a difficult year, but we're doing everything in our power to protect the taxpayer."

While municipalities throughout the state face massive layoffs due to budget cuts, Egg Harbor City is planning to eliminate one job - a police officer - through attrition.

And Henshaw said the city is already in the process of applying for federal funding to not only replace that job but to add another.

"Every town plans differently. But the mayor and council here have worked together and have planned for the future of Egg Harbor City," Henshaw said. "While other municipalities are being forced to work on streamlining their efficiency, we're already there. There are no frills in the operation of this city - it's bare bones."

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