Looks like Brigantine Beach taxpayers will take another hit in 2013. The only question is…by how much? A proposed budget was presented to council on Wednesday night that shows how Brigantine could be in a $3 million hole next year.
City manager; Jennifer Blumenthal & city council would like to punt, but they can’t. The solution? Raise taxes or cut services. Or both. (We respectfully suggest the city finally ramps up new ‘tourism based’ revenue streams; a totally un-tapped strategy with excellent revenue potential)
Big tax increase = least amount of city services affected. Small tax increase = cut back services like recycling, public works, beach maintenance & equipment upgrades. Reports suggest that layoffs are a possibility.
Ms. Blumenthal recommended the much larger 6.2-cent tax increase to council. An example in The Press of Atlantic City shows that a home accessed at $499,316, would pay $2,756 in city property taxes, an increase of $320 from last year.
An avalanche of tax appeals have contributed to Brigantine’s financial short fall. While many love the fact that a successful appeal lowers their assessment, those lost dollars still need to be made up by the city. The lost dollars typically boomerang their way back to the homeowner’s tax bill or reduction in city services, or both. Council members are said to be looking to sell some city property for additional cash.
No word yet if Brigantine has a better plan to leverage the Golf Course, which operated at a loss in 2012. Step #1…make sure the world knows we have a golf course. Small prints ads in a local paper just don’t cut it.
The beach, bay, The Brigantine Triathlon, the 4×4 event, and other unique assets are certainly capable of bringing in some strong revenue for the city. To date, Brigantine’s superior collection of natural assets have had minimal impact in filling the city coffers.