Brigantine City Council voted to raise taxes by 7%. Huh? Are the recently elected Dems ignoring the NJ 2% property tax cap? Did they forget their campaign promise to cut city head count and stop raising taxes?
This past Wednesday, the five Democratic members of council approved this jaw-dropping tax increase. The only two Republicans; Andy Simpson and Mayor Phil Guenther, opposed it. The Brigantine city unions and public employees likely smiled and breathed a sigh of relief.
We overheard many angry conversations while drinking coffee at the Macedonian Grill this week. Residents were under the impression that NJ had a 2 percent property tax cap in place. See 2% NJ Tax Cap info HERE.
Why so big a tax hike for Brigantine? While storm clean-up certainly played a role here, many complain that it’s the bloated employee expense and mis-management of our Brigantine assets like the beach, the golf course, proximity to Atlantic City, etc..
Brigantine employee expenses…. account for about 60% of the island’s municipal budget. That’s right. Think about that fun fact for a minute. Sixty cents out of every taxpayer dollar in Brigantine goes towards employees, unions, benefits and pensions. 60% !
Council has yet to fulfill their promise to ‘right-size’ our city employment roles. As of today, still no lay-offs. Still no furloughs. Still no pay-cuts. Just a crazy 7% tax increase.
Special thanks to 2nd homeowners of Brigantine (70% of residents)…that contribute most to this massive 7% tax hike.
That’s right, Brigantine City Council did what they do best. They once again pulled the trigger on raising taxes. They know that almost 3/4 of local taxpayers will just blindly pay it. These so-called ‘70%-ers’ can’t make a fuss. They can’t do anything about it because they can’t vote. Indeed, it’s a fiendishly evil plan to fund the Brigantine revenue coffers and overpay the city employees. 2011 Brigantine Employee Salaries
Brigantine full-time residents are even more angry. Most can only afford ONE home. The pain is much more intense for these Brigantiners. A growing number of Brigantine full-timers are being forced to pack up and leave. Full time Brigantine residents get hurt the most when out of control spending and Greenhead Politics continue to thrive in Brigantine.
As of today, there are 523 homes for sale in Brigantine. That’s a lot of housing inventory for such a small island. That’s a big number when you consider coastal communities to the north that got brutally storm battered and became less attractive to vacation home buyers. One would think Brigantine real estate would be record breaking this season. It should be since Brigantine is one of the most beautiful towns along the Jersey shore. Our vacation homes and tourism attractions are virtually back to 100%.
Situated right next to Atlantic City should make Brigantine even more valuable. But Brigantine’s high taxes and lack of tourism marketing has really hurt. News media continue to tell the world we’re still storm damaged and may not be ready for Summer visitors. We still wonder why The Brigantine Chamber of Commerce does virtually nothing to promote our island to outsiders.
This is wrong on so many levels. Why allow a small handful to get away with this? There’s no one to blame but ourselves. We let it happen.
Are you kidding me? A 7% tax increase….. with no layoffs? No furloughs? No cut backs?
Make sure you thank our Democratic council members the next time you see em’. We all gotta get one of them jobs at Brigantine City Hall…. pretty sweet deal. Awesome pensions too!
WATCH VIDEO. Brigantine councilman Frank Kern promises NO MORE tax and spend.