Home Seaside Heights & Seaside Park Government Seaside Heights Tax Rate to Rise as Sandy Recovery Continues

Seaside Heights Tax Rate to Rise as Sandy Recovery Continues

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The entrance to Seaside Heights from the north. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
The entrance to Seaside Heights from the north. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Nearly five years after Superstorm Sandy pummeled Seaside Heights, the borough is still feeling is financial effects, with officials being forced to raise the property tax rate even after a seven-figure state aid influx.

New Jersey provided $1.4 million, finally allowing the town to adopt its municipal budget more than nine months into the year. Without the state funding, taxpayers would have seen an increase of about 16 cents per $100 of assessed real estate value. Instead, there will be a 3.7 cent increase.

Seaside Heights’ ratable base has yet to recover from the 2012 storm, lowering tax revenues. Seaside Heights received federal aid for three years before applying for what is known as “transitional aid” from the state last year. The aid package came with a state financial monitor as well as numerous requirements to adopt new ordinances regulating financial policies.

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Officials on Wednesday said they were concerned over the borough’s long-term financial health – and the burden on taxpayers – which were compounded by the uncertainty of a new governor next year. There is a chance the aid would be taken away depending on the policies of a new administration in Trenton. Mayor Anthony Vaz said without the tax ratable base in place before Sandy, it has been difficult to fund borough operations.

“We’ve used a majority of our surplus, which is scary in itself,” Vaz said. “We have to start focusing now, so we go into 2018 with a picture of where we are going.”

Christopher Vaz, the borough administrator, said state officials strongly advised him in meetings over the town’s aid package to complete a number of the items the state recommended along with its aid, including an overhaul of the water-sewer department. A rate study will be completed by the end of October, he said.

“Right now, that is a very large problem with the operating deficit hitting $1 million annually,” Christopher Vaz said.

The township’s spending plan includes $17,196,769 in expenditures in 2017.

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  • Tom Messner

    Oh boy. How about we sell that carousel. I really can’t afford a tax hike.

  • Marilyn Hansen

    No way sell the carousel!! It is one of the gems of Seaside Heights. Surely there are other ways to make it work without raising taxes. Government garage sale!

  • jasman

    problem with carousel is it has to have building to put it in. Clock is running on when we as a town have to have a building to put it in. 2nd problem is that is part of the deal we made with DEP to allow land transfer, so I don’t think we can sell the carousel at this point. We need a developer to build a building on the lot too house the carousel but they have to be able too make money DEP as part of the deal. So where do we go with this plan. Several have been floated but nothing concrete. I know Town Admin. is working with Town Council to figure this out. So let’s give them some time as they have had other issues to work on. Great job ladies and gentleman keep up the good work.

  • Barry Dugac

    I want the public to know The Carousel Problem will not go away over night. It will take large amounts of money to build the building and move carousel to it’s new location.
    We are dealing with a 1910 carousel and must be treated with care. This carousel has played a part in our children history. Yes! The building design is ready to go. All we need now are the funds to do the project.

  • Chief Wahoo

    The Vaz seem to be doing well as public TAKERS. Taxpayers. Not so much.

    • Mac

      Is Vaz a shortcut for Vaad? I mean, the similarities are shocking overwhelming.

  • Barry Dugac

    The second amusement pier is needed in order to help out with the taxes. With out the second amusement pier taxes will continue to rise at a very fast rate. Thats bad news to the tax payer. History has a way of repeating it’s self. The Second amusement pier will help solve a lot of problems and being more money into the area. thats a fact of life!