Longport Happy Face water tower.


LONGPORT – The Board of Commissioners Wednesday, April 13, approved the borough’s 2022 municipal budget and introduced two bond ordinances to finance general capital improvements and water and sewer projects.

Auditor Michael Garcia of Ford-Scott Associates of Ocean City gave a brief overview of the budget, which calls for a 1.5-cents tax rate increase. It is the first tax rate increase in more than five years.

The $9.5 million budget includes a $250,000 or 3% increase in spending, mostly due to contractual salary increases and increases in police and fire pensions. Salaries and wages are up $92,000 for the Police Department, $15,000 for the Beach Patrol and $42,000 for Code Enforcement. The board included an extra $15,000 for gasoline and an $80,000 reserve for the required 5% down payment for the bonds.

Garcia said the budget is well below the 3.5% spending cap and 2% tax levy cap imposed by the state.

Despite a $14.7 million increase in the ratable base, the local purpose tax rate will be 34.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, up from 32.69 cents last year.

The increase will add $15 for every $100,000 of assessed valuation. Based on the average assessment of $1,145,130, a homeowner with a house assessed at $1 million will pay $3,419.80 in taxes in 2022, or $112 more than last year.

Commissioner of Finance Jim Leeds Sr. said he was disappointed that the tax rate increase did not include the down payment required to purchase a new ladder truck for the Longport Volunteer Fire Department, estimated to cost $1 million or more.

Ordinance 2022-05 appropriates $3.3 million for various general capital improvements, including $482,000 for vehicle purchases, $353,000 for bulkhead replacements and shore protection, $655,000 for building improvements at the firehouse and Public Works Department building, $910,000 for road reconstruction, and $900,000 for recreation and park improvements.

Ordinance 2022-06 appropriates $1.6 million for various water and sewer improvements, including replacement of water/sewer laterals, maintenance and painting of the Happy Face water tower and maintenance of Well No. 1 and 2.

A second reading of the ordinances and a public hearing will be held 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 18 at Longport Borough Hall, 2305 Atlantic Ave.

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Categories: Longport

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.