November 1, 2013
My senior staff team has begun the process of developing the 2014 operating budget for the city. Department Heads will present their recommended budgets to me later this month, and the overall budget will be analyzed and refined through the end of the year. The law requires me to present my budget to the City Council by Jan. 15, although that deadline is sometimes extended by the state.
Our approach to the development of the budget will be the same as the last three years. The departments will start at zero and add the costs that are required to maintain the level of services that our residents, visitors and property owners expect. This approach, with the support of the City Council, has led to sound and responsible operating budgets that have been well under the 2 percent cap.
The Tax Assessor has recently obtained approval from the Cape May County Board of Taxation for another Compliance Plan for 2014. This plan will review and revise the assessed values of approximately 4,470 properties in neighborhoods that have been found to have assessments above true market value. Assessments in neighborhoods that were found to reflect true market value will remain unchanged.
This Compliance Plan will help to secure the uniform taxable valuation of property according to the law. When the plan is implemented, the tax burden will then be distributed more equitably. This is the third consecutive compliance plan, after which the majority of the proprieties with assessments in excess of true value will have been identified, reviewed and brought into compliance.
The Tax Assessor and his staff are to be commended for taking this proactive approach to the issue of declining real estate values during the sluggish economy of recent years. This also is consistent with the other sound financial decisions the City has been making.
A reminder that City Offices will be closed on Tuesday, November 5th for Election Day. Polls are open from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Have a great weekend.
Jay A. Gillian