LONG BRANCH: The City Council approved the 2014 municipal budget this week and it calls for a tax increase for residents.
The total budget has raised from $51.1 million in 2013 to $52.5 million in 2014.
It calls for an increase in the municipal tax rate of 1.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, bringing the tax rate to 88.92 cents per $100 of assessed value. The owner of property assessed at the city average of $378,347 would pay $50 more in municipal taxes.
Long Branch Chief Financial Officer Ron Mehlhorn has said the taxes could have gone up more, but the city was able to add more funds to its surplus and anticipate more beach revenue and construction fees in order to offset expenditures.
Mehlhorn said the largest increases in the budget were debt service, which has a $1 million increase, insurance, which is up $414,000, and salaries, which are up $348,000. He said the city has been able to keep salary increases relatively low with a 2 percent cap on pay increases.