PERTH AMBOY—Perth Amboy received a $3.5 million extraordinary aid award from the state, half of the amount requested to close a budget shortfall. The award was the largest of the 16 announced last week, and the only one for a Middlesex County municipality.
The award comes from a program meant to prevent significant property tax increases or cuts in services in towns confronted with large budget shortfalls or other financial problems.
Perth Amboy’s fiscal year 2010 budget was introduced with a $7 million shortfall. The city also applied for Special Municipal Aid, but according to Mayor Wilda Diaz, Perth Amboy is unlikely to see any further aid.
The city’s financial and economic outlook remains critical as there have not been any positive changes in the local economy, Diaz said. Unemployment remains high as does the rate of foreclosure.
“While this is a ray of sunshine, the storm is not over in Perth Amboy. I want to thank Governor Corzine and the outgoing administration for committing limited resources to help the great City of Perth Amboy. I would also like to thank the City Council for partnering in our application for Extraordinary Aid by voting for a 5 percent tax increase for the upcoming billing quarter,” said Diaz.
The city must now address the other half of the deficit in its budget. Perth Amboy already raised taxes five percent, effective with the quarterly tax bill due Feb. 1.
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