• March 18, 2019

Budget raises rate half-cent in Northfield - Ocean City Sentinel: News

Budget raises rate half-cent in Northfield

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Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 2:18 pm

NORTHFIELD — City Council introduced a $13.05 million budget with a half-cent local tax rate increase Tuesday, March 5. 

This is the lowest tax rate increase city residents have seen since 2012. The city tax rate has increased 17.1 cents, or 21.6 percent, to 96.3 cents since that time. That includes increases of 2.3 cents in 2014, 2.9 cents in 2015, 3.9 cents in 2016, 3.1 cents in 2017 and 3.9 cents in 2018.

Spending is down from the 2018 budget, from $13.4 million to $13.05 million. 

City Council President Jeffrey Lischin said in a phone interview that council did not have to cut much this year. 

“It turned out that we’ve done a considerable amount of cutting in years past, so we didn’t have to do much.  We had one-time revenues that were able to offset some of the increases this year,” he said. 

Some of these revenues included construction fees from the building of the Cresson Hill apartment complex. 

Lischin also said a bond expired, which led to a reduction in debt service, and there was a decrease in retirees’ health care costs. The debt service decreased from $1.33 million to $816,300.

“We appreciate all of the help of the council people who were working hard to keep the budget low for the taxpayers of Northfield,” he said.  

The budget also includes funding to hire one new police officer and purchase a few new police vehicles and a vacuum truck to perform state-mandated stormwater and basin maintenance. 

If adopted as introduced, the local tax levy would increase by a half-cent, from 96.3 cents to 96.8 cents. 

The total local levy decreased from $8.58 million to $8.50 million year over year. 

The net valuation taxable, however, decreased by about $13 million, from $891.76 million in 2018 to $878.76 million in 2019.  Northfield’s 2017 tax collection rate was 96.8 percent. 

The 2019 budget will use $953,000 in surplus, down from $1 million in 2018. That leaves $1 million in remaining surplus for 2019, which is more than the $633,073 that remained in 2018.    

Salaries and wages increased by 2.78 percent, from $3.78 million in 2018 to $3.88 million in 2019.

This budget is $1.24 million below the spending cap and $406,017 below the tax levy cap. 

City Council voted 5-2 to introduce the budget. Councilwoman Susan Korngut and Councilwoman Barbara Madden voted against the introduction. Council members Brian Smith, Greg Dewees, Frank Perri, Jim O’Neill and Lischin voted to introduce it.  

A public hearing and final adoption of the budget are scheduled for Tuesday, April 2, at Northfield City Hall, 1600 Shore Road. A City Council workshop meeting is held at 6 p.m., with the regular council meeting held immediately afterward.  

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