Gloucester residents will have an opportunity tonight to speak on the county’s proposed $109 million proposed fiscal year 2012-13 budget. The public hearing is scheduled to begin at 7 o’clock at Gloucester High School.
County administrator Brenda Garton’s proposed budget calls for a 17.24-percent increase in real estate taxes and an 11.54-percent hike in personal property assessments. The proposal amounts to a 10-cent increase per $100 of assessed value on the real estate and a 30-cent increase per $100 on the personal property levy.
Without the tax increases figured into the proposed budget, Garton said the county would face layoffs and whole operations would have to be shut down. She said there would be no money to cover capital improvement needs at all and the utilities debt service would have to be paid for by cutting staff positions.
During a March 7 meeting, the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to advertise the 10-cent increase on the real estate tax, but also chose to advertise the possibility of a 50-cent increase on personal property. The board’s reasoning for doing this was to provide flexibility if, at tonight’s public hearing, it hears an overwhelming outcry from residents to fund areas that are not addressed in the proposed budget.