On March 1, the Brigantine City auditor shared details on the Island's massive, $5.6 million budget surplus, Links Golf Course losses and larger employee expenses. City Manager Ed Stinson and Chief Financial Officer Roxanne Tosto worked on the controversial budget proposal that didn't sit well with local residents.
A $31 Million Brigantine City Budget was Proposed. Adoption on April 5.
Mayor Phil Guenther was quick to boast of slightly lower property taxes. Guenther opponents reminded the 26+ year mayor that a small tax reduction was easy to do... with a $5.6 million surplus the city built up over the past 2 years.
$5.6 million surplus and you lower the rate by a few pennies? Brigantine was blatantly over-taxed for almost 3 years!
The Links at Brigantine Golf Course continues to lose revenue, down another $200,000 year-over-year. Brigantine residents were recently informed that they'll now pay for all water & sewer bills for this under-leveraged city asset.
Almost 2/3 of the Brigantine municipal budget is for public employee salaries.
NOTE: City Manager Stinson, Mayor Guenther and Councilman Sera supported the questionable and potentially non-compliant practice of funneling longevity pay and allowances for uniforms and education into base pay. This allows for a padding of base salaries that increases pension payouts upon retirement. Those additional payments are known to be a much greater, long-term burden on Brigantine Taxpayers.