Brigantine Democrats Opt for Higher Taxes

Brigantine City Council had a choice. Raise taxes again…. or lower them. That was the key issue at this week’s festivities inside Brigantine City Hall. Three budget choices were debated. The Democrats lead by Councilman Pullella agreed to the proposed city budget with a 3.4-cent increase.

The vote was split along party lines. Really….no kidding?

Republican councilman Andy Simpson and Mayor Phil Guenther put up a good fight, but couldn’t overcome the majority Democratic votes of council. Simpson & Guenther wanted some forecasted FEMA reimbursement funds for tax relief. Team Pullella disagreed, opting to reduce debt rather than provide relief to struggling local taxpayers in Brigantine.

According to Beachcomber News, if approved, the 3.4-cent increase means: if your Brigantine home is assessed at $500,000, you’ll have a tax bill of $2,606 – that’s a whopping 7% increase. Sadly, if some of the forecasted FEMA reimbursement went for tax relief, it could have reduced the tax rate by .09 cents – a savings of about $40 for average taxpayer.

A final council vote to adopt the budget will be held May 15, at the next council meeting.

Have a comment? Want to send a message to Brigantine City Council? Leave a comment below or visit the new citizen forum:  The Brigantine BUZZ Board.

Happy with elected officials representing your best interests? Full and part-time homeowners in Brigantine have much in common; both are passionately united for more accountability in city government. Frustrated second homeowners (approx 70% of city tax base) can’t cast a vote and have to watch all of this from the sideline.

Full-time residents get hurt extra hard, as their Brigantine home is their one and only.

It’s great to see more taxpayers & business owners stepping up and demanding that Brigantine get its financial house in order. Bloated government budgets, un-sustainable employee count, crazy salaries, city contracts from hell….

Welcome to Brigantine Beach, an island you’ll love for life.

See Beachcomber News coverage of this issue here.



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13 thoughts on “Brigantine Democrats Opt for Higher Taxes”

  1. THIS quote is WRONG! If the total TAX Bill is $2606 on $500k- then WE are being waaaaay overcharged. “the 3.4-cent increase means: if your Brigantine home is assessed at $500,000, you’ll have a tax bill of $2,606” PLEASE stop making this statement. IT is misleading. Our taxes are $21,000/per year- YES, TWENTY-ONE THOUSAND! Stop the Bloated government, pleeeeeez WHERE ????? are the CUTS?????????

  2. If the statement above is correct. I think these people that opted for an increase rather lowering or even keeping the tax rate the same must have had their heads bury in the sand by SANDY.

  3. Yes, who is doing the math here anyway!!! 70%R is right, With a value of $335,000 on my house I’m paying around $4,000.00 a year in taxes. Maybe it’s time to vote out the people who always want to keep raising our taxes because they just don’t want to look somewhere else and try to save money there.
    Everytime the city needs money thaey just raise taxes. It’s time to put a stop to all this.

  4. Thank you for the update of this week’s City council Meeting. Just wanted to clarify some of the numbers regarding the Simpson-Guenther Tax Relief Proposal – The difference between a 3.4% increase and a .9% increase is 2.5% savings of $100.00 on a $300000 house or 2.5 times the $40.00.

    Ann Wenitsky

    1. I’m confused Ann. Is your point that this is not much money in savings? Every little bit counts…. the REAL problem is with bloated Staffing and salaries. AND let us NOT forget the SCHOOL Budget- which is also mismanaged. And our schools do not rank very well, which is a whole other issue of concern.

  5. To all of those that are complaining, Did you do your homework before you voted. What did you expect?

    1. We CAN’T vote. We just pay and pay and pay. I have submitted reasonable suggestions for cutting the bloated budget, starting with Bloated staffing and over-indulgent salaries. The Nickituk’s submitted relational costs to show the EXCESS in comparison to towns that were more than 10 times the size of Brigantine with salaries and staffing at half the costs and numbers in Brigantine. Did you see that information?…So Diane, people HAVE been doing their homework…. what was your point. I’m confused.

  6. No matter who’s in office, the majority party will likely take advantage of their majority. For what you ask? We wish it was for nothing but honorable reasons. But alas…..

    In a small town like Brigantine, shouldn’t all 7 council folk have a shared interest in working together? Do our views differ that much? Or is it that a council seat, is just a ticket to do favors for buddies? Or maybe a council seat is just a bully pulpit to scare and intimidate those who respectfully disagree?

    Much like national politics, when a vote goes straight down party lines…..that’s never a good thing.

    As Brigantine changes ever so faster…..

    With 70% of taxpayers NOT allowed to vote…….that creates a major communication problem. How can a town ignore almost 3/4 of it’s local residents / taxpayers?

    There’s a growing list of towns (like Brigantine) that are changing the voting rules to address this incredible oversight.

    Maybe one day…..Brigantine will NO LONGER be DEM or REPUB…..but rather: INDEPENDENT.

    If we had 6 councilmen/women……and it was an even split on a particular vote……then we would hold a public referendum….where ALL taxpayers would cast the deciding vote.

    ALL taxpayers need to come together NOW. Full-time & part-time residents. Business owners too.

    City council, the City manager, City Hall, and the City unions work for YOU…since YOU pay their salary.

    Sometimes we forget that.

    1. Well said Brigster!!! I like the part about the 70% getting to vote. Do you know anything about that effort, as in where has that happened? I would be willing to start a movement for that change. I also like your INDEPENDENT suggestion, followed by Referendum for split issues. BOY the Powers in Adminstration (that I suggest have been filling their own pockets and favors for friends) would be verrrrry sad if that were to come about. The corruption and favoritism for a few at the expense of the masses is WRONG and needs to be stopped. The 70% probably hold enough wealth to squash this situation. THIS should be a notification of those representing the Tax Payers- YOU ARE BEING WATCHED. …..Arrogance could lead to their demise or more. They exhibited ARROGANCE by this plan to raise taxes….

  7. Reasonable Alternative

    A better headline would have been “Cooler heads prevail in assessing city budget issues against Brigantine crackpot tea bagger fanatics..”

    1. What AND Who are the cool headed assessment to which you refer? What AND who were the points that were “fanatical”? I am trying to find the reason for your comment “Reasonable Alternative”. I don’t have the scorecard. … and WHAT is your Reasonable Alternative?

  8. I have a one bedroom condo and I pay over $5,000. I’m having a hard enough time paying the taxes, if they raise it again I’m afraid I’m going to be forced out of this hidden jewel.

  9. What happened to the Tax Cut my fellow Democrats Promised if they were elected? I’ll be voting straight Republican. They had their chance and blew it. Pure incompetence !!!!!

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