Hearing Monday on proposed $138M budget

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Mar 20, 2013 - 02:13 PM

Gloucester County’s $138 million proposed FY-2014 budget will be the subject of a public hearing Monday night.

The hearing on the proposal, which includes a four-cent hike on the real estate tax rate, will begin at 7 o’clock in the Gloucester High School auditorium.

The proposed budget, which is an increase of $29 million over the current county budget, is balanced on an increase in the real estate levy from 65¢ to 69¢ per $100 of assessed value and $2.95 per $100 in the boat tax (up from $1). The personal property tax would remain unchanged, at $2.95 per $100.

County administrator Brenda Garton said each penny of the real estate tax generates approximately $400,000 in additional revenue ($1.6 million for four cents), while the increase in the boat tax would add roughly $600,000 to the county’s coffers.

The increase is proposed to cover three main issues, according to Garton. The first is for the county to address significant capital needs that have been "grossly delayed," she said.

A second is to address recommendations covered in the county’s recent pay and classification study, which Garton estimates will cost about $900,000.

The final main area the proposed budget addresses is funding $1.4 million of the $1.5 million the school system has asked for in its proposed budget above what is currently allocated.