PERTH AMBOY – City officials asked the state for $7 million in extraordinary aid to balance a $75.3 million budget. If the request is denied, residents could see a 13% increase in their municipal tax bills to cover the shortfall, officials said.
For the average homeowner whose property is assessed at $280,900, the municipal portion of the tax bill would jump $540 to $4, 680. A public hearing on the budget is planned for Oct. 28, at which time it could be adopted.
According to city finance director Jill Goldy, the budget gap is caused primarily by a $6.4 million decrease in anticipated revenue. Last year, Perth Amboy received $1.7 million in extraordinary aid, which cannot be anticipated this year. There have been decreases in regular state aid and funds from the municipal court, and fiscal problems with the water and waste water utility meant that an anticipated $1.1 million didn’t materialize.
Goldy said that pension obligations increased $2.5 million because Perth Amboy deferred half of its pension obligations last year. There was also a $2.3 million increase in judgements and legal expenses.
Council President Peter Jimenez said he would not vote for any tax increase. “It’s time that we start cutting, and the time to do that is now,” he said.
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