EGG HARBOR CITY — City Council introduced a $5.6 million budget Thursday night that raises the tax rate by 6.4 percent, from about $1.80 per $100 of assessed valuation to almost $1.92.
The owner of the average home in the city, assessed at $141,000, would see the local tax bill increase by about $169, from $2,538 to $2,707 under the proposed budget.
The new rate would decrease if the city’s ambulance building on the 700 block of Philadelphia Avenue sells quickly, Council President Ed Dennis said before Thursday’s meeting. It is being sold via request for proposal, with a starting bid of $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for an additional lot.
There may be a Pinelands Commission issue because of possible wetlands on the lot, he said, so it has been split off from the building sale.
A penny on the tax rate equals about $19,000, so if the building sells, about $228,000 of the funds could eliminate the tax increase, with money to spare, he said.
“We are reviewing and meeting with our attorney, and then will go out for RFPs,” Dennis said.
The total to be raised by taxes would be $4.31 million, city Chief Financial Officer Jodi Kahn said.
Total spending is down slightly, but the tax increase is needed because of falling revenues, Kahn said.
With school and county taxes included, Egg Harbor City had the second-highest general tax rate in Atlantic County in 2013, at $4.128 (Somers Point was highest at $4.65); and the highest effective tax rate in the county, at $3.64.
The general tax rate is a multiplier for use in determining the amount of tax levied upon each property and is used to compute the tax bill.
The effective tax rate is a statistical study that enables the comparison of one taxing entity to another, adjusting for how accurate tax assessments are. This rate is not used to compute the tax bill.
A public hearing on the budget will be held during the April 10 council meeting.
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