47 Percent Tax Increase Possible in Atlantic City

Atlantic City's new mayor says property owners there may be facing a 47 percent tax rate increase.

Mayor Don Guardian issued the warning Wednesday when he introduced the city's proposed $262 million budget. He said the city will seek $20 million in transitional aid from the state to help reduce the tax hike, but he warned there was no guarantee that the city would receive any of that funding.

The Press of Atlantic City reports the spending plan is about $5.5 million more than last year's budget. But Guardian, who beat incumbent Mayor Lorenzo Langford in last November's election, also noted that the city ended last year $10 million in the hole, meaning this budget is smaller than what really had to be spent.

As introduced, the budget would raise the local-purpose tax rate by 65 cents, with 61 cents of that directly related to the city's decreased property values.

"This is not the blame of any one person,'' Guardian said. "This is the reality of the last 20 or 30 years.''

A 47 percent tax increase would mean the owner of a home with the average assessment of $229,000 would pay about $4,662 in local-purpose taxes this year, an increase of about $1,490.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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