By John Burton
SEA BRIGHT — At a regular meeting of the governing body Tuesday, the borough council introduced its proposed municipal budget of $3.9 million, one that would increase the tax rate to .765 cents for each assessed $100 of property.
Councilman William Keeler, who chairs the council’s finance committee, said the borough has lost nearly $600,000 in state aid in the last decade, with $135,000 lost to the borough in 2012.
“If not for this loss of funding,” Keeler said, “the borough’s conservative strategy would have resulted in no tax increase for 2011 nor 2012.”
Keeler went on to say borough property owners pay $1,000 less a year in property taxes than the county or state average.
The projected increase would mean that the owner of a $300,000 home would pay an additional $80.10 for the year, Keeler said. That would bring the municipal portion of the tax bill for the $300,000 homeowner to $2,295, according to Michael Bascom, the borough’s chief financial officer.
This budget reflects a 2.3 percent spending increase from the 2011 budget, Keeler said.
“I feel that it is a responsible and practical budget that maintains our present level of service,” Mayor Dina Long said following the meeting.
“Just like everywhere else,” she continued, “in Sea Bright we’ve perfected the art of doing more with less.”
Officials plan to hold their formal budget hearing on April 17, Keeler said.