Ocean City —
Vincent Iannace said he was moved to become a council-at-large candidate after listening to his clients’ stories about their tax troubles.
Iannace, 41, a certified public accountant with Engelhardt & Iannace CPAs, LLC in Northfield, said he’s running for office to help Ocean City get a hold on its taxes.
“I had a client today that I do their tax returns for. They sit in front of me and cry because they can’t pay their taxes. As a CPA and former auditor, I’m going to see that there is something I can do to at least keep taxes from going up,” Iannace said.
Iannace was born and raised in Ocean City and is a fourth generation Ocean City resident. He graduated Ocean City High School in 1986 and attended the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
He said he has experience as a municipal and school board auditor.
Iannace said he’s running in the May 11 election because he wants to prevent wasteful spending in Ocean City.
“I think our council has done a great job. I know what kind of position they’re in. They’re in a no-win situation. Whoever gets elected this time around, it’s going to be worse because the economy is godawful,” Iannace said.
He said the city wasted money paying for a consultant to determine staffing levels of the police and fire departments.
“The results came back in favor of the police and fire department and it turns out the study was a waste because they threw it to the side and disregarded the whole thing. Every dollar counts. It’s taxpayer dollars,” Iannace said.
He said the city spent money studying ways to save the Ocean City Lifesaving Station. In 2005, the public voted on a referendum not to purchase the station for $3 million. Since then, the price for the station fell to $887,500.
“I’d love to see the lifesaving station saved, but it’s not my money to spend, it’s not council’s money to spend, it’s not the mayor’s money to spend. In that scenario, that worked out the way things are supposed to work out. The public voted on it and shot it down,” Iannace said.
Iannace does support a land swap for the lifesaving property.
“Times are going to be very hard. I don’t think people realize how hard the times are going to be. It’s my opinion that let’s spend money on where it’s needed to be spent, on necessities,” Iannace said.
Iannace said labor contracts should be honored between the unions and the city. He said if the city wants any changes, they should wait until negotiation period.
“The contract stands until the contract is over,” Iannace said. “Maybe in two years that’s when you go back to the bargaining table with the police and fire and maybe you can change something then. A contract is a contract.”
He said one of the reasons he is going into politics is to stop the increase of real estate taxes.
“The people in Ocean City have to understand that our real estate taxes are low compared to other cities and town around us. Look at the services that we get with those low real estate taxes,” Iannace said.
He said that Ocean City is a “$100 million business” and that his experience as a CPA would help in maintaining the city.
“Are there any other businesses out there that you can think of other than a municipality that are not run by a CPA or accountants? Every business out there on Wall Street, the CFOs are all accountants or CPAs,” Iannace said. “I have the municipal and school board auditing experience...When it comes down to dollars, that’s where a CPA would benefit the city.”
Iannace faces challengers Jim Tweed, Pete Guinosso, Scott Ping, Keith Hartzell, Michael Allegretto and Frank McCall for one of three council-at-large seats.