How Sandy Impacted Taxes Along the Coast

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A combination of factors including federal aid, strategic borrowing, lower property values and surplus accounts have helped many coastal communities avoid big tax increases as they recover from October's Superstorm Sandy. Details on how some communities are faring:

    CONNECTICUT

    FAIRFIELD: The $278 million budget raised taxes 2.4 percent. Officials say they were able to offset storm costs with increases in revenue from other areas and are counting on federal reimbursement of 75 percent of the estimated $8 million in damage.

    BRIDGEPORT: The $517 million budget in Connecticut's largest city was up about 1.8 percent from $512 million, and the increase was attributed to pension and health care obligations. The city is seeking about $5 million in reimbursement from FEMA for damages to a park and its south end.

    EAST HAVEN: The New Haven suburb managed to keep the same tax rate for its $87 million budget. The storm had a very minor effect on taxes and next year should be better because of rebuilding along the shore, Finance Director Paul Rizza said.

    NEW JERSEY

    MANTOLOKING: The devastated but wealthy town adopted a 14.6 percent increase in the municipal tax rate. But because the storm lowered property values and because of an influx of storm recovery aid and borrowing, most tax bills will actually be lower this year. The budget calls for $5.6 million in spending, up from just over $4 million last year. But the average tax bill will actually be 23 percent less than last year because property values have fallen by about a third.

    SEASIDE PARK: Using $2.5 million in federal loans to keep its local tax rate the same as it has been since 2009 and rebuild its boardwalk, a pier and its public works building.

    TOMS RIVER: The shore town, including the devastated Ortley Beach section, is taking in $10 million less in taxes this year, helped by $20.2 million in storm aid.

    BRADLEY BEACH: "FEMA money has offset significant tax increases,'' Borough Administrator Joyce Wilkens said. Municipal taxes on a house worth $500,000 are going up $26 this year.

    MIDDLETOWN: The town on Raritan Bay sold three parcels of land it had been holding onto for affordable housing to help with the budget, which dropped local taxes on the average house by $4 this year.

    MANASQUAN: Used half of its $1.6 million surplus but kept school taxes from increasing by taking out a $4.7 million government loan.

    SPRING LAKE: Raised prices for beach badges.

    SEA BRIGHT: Using federal aid for nearly half its $8 million budget.

    STAFFORD TOWNSHIP: A $5 million federal loan is raising local taxes by 2.4 percent, or $50 for the average homeowner.

    SEASIDE HEIGHTS: The town where a roller coaster famously plunged into the sea during the storm used its entire $3.8 million disaster loan in one year and expects $11 million in federal reimbursement for storm costs. Local taxes are going up by about $60 this year on the average home.

    NEW YORK

    NEW YORK CITY: Announced a decrease in property taxes due next year through reassessments of Sandy-damaged properties and across-the-board reductions in valuations for some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods.

    LONG BEACH: The city cut its 2013-14 budget from $85.1 million to $83.3 million, spokesman Gordon Tepper said. Lost sales tax and other revenues from the sales of beach passes and access to other recreational events were lower because of Sandy. That will mean a moderate property tax increase of 1.49 percent, or an average of $43 per home. Long Beach has already received $24.3 million in reimbursement for debris removal.