The 2022 spending plan reflects Sea Isle City’s financial strength.
By MADDY VITALE
Sea Isle City unveiled a 2022 municipal budget with no tax increase, a large surplus and funds for capital projects and all of the services residents were provided in the past.
City Council went over details of the administration’s proposed budget at a workshop Thursday.
Specifically, the proposed budget comes in at $26.7 million, down from $26.9 million in the prior year. The budget, prepared by recently retired Chief Financial Officer Paula Doll, also has a surplus set aside of $8 million.
Most of the revenue for the budget comes from the city’s property taxes. The city used $1.2 million more in its surplus to fund the budget this year than last.
Overall, the amount to be raised by taxation is $18.5 million, up from $18.3 million last year.
Mayor Leonard Desiderio emphasized the strong fiscal state the city is in during his State of the City address on Tuesday, noting the $8 million in surplus.
“That is ten times the amount of surplus we started with in 2009, in the midst of the country’s great recession,” Desiderio said in his address.
He also said that the city “is better than ever.”
“Our financial position is the best it has ever been,” Desiderio said.
Last year amid the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a slight increase in the tax rate. The spending plan raised the local tax rate by a quarter-penny. For an average home assessed at $683,500, that translated into about $17 in additional taxes per homeowner for 2021.
For 2022, Desiderio emphasized that there is no tax increase, further highlighting the good fiscal shape of the shore town.
“We’re accomplishing this budget with no one-time revenues and with no assistance from funding received through the American Rescue Plan Act,” he said.
The tax collection rate is 98 percent, just slightly down from 99 percent in 2021.
In addition, the proposed budget also means, “There will be no increase to our water and sewer rates for the 9th consecutive year,” Desiderio said.