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Lavallette Taxes to Rise As Sandy Payments Wind Down

Lavallette Borough Hall (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Lavallette Borough Hall (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Lavallette will pay off the final chunk of $4 million borrowed to clean up after Superstorm Sandy, officials said, heralding the news but warning that additional storm-related costs may be yet to come.

Lavallette’s budget decreased by an adjusted 1.32 percent, officials said at a council meeting Monday night, during which the 2017 spending plan was unanimously approved by the governing body. The total budget will be $9,560,512, which will be tempered by $804,865 in revenue for bond anticipation notes and principal, making the adjusted budget $8,755,647.

“This year, there is a non-federal cost share program run by the state so there is a grant involved to offset the final payment” of the Sandy loan, which is $960,000, said Mayor Walter LaCicero.

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For a homeowner whose property is worth $693,000, the borough average, municipal property taxes will rise by about $69, to $2,111 annually.

Though the $4 million portion of Sandy-related expenses will soon be behind Lavallette and its taxpayers, there is still uncertainty about the remaining $2.7 million on a Community Disaster Loan that, originally, was portrayed as something that would likely be paid by the federal government. Then, there is the ongoing question as to whether the federal government will approve any funding toward the borough’s new municipal building.

“Don’t be shocked in July if we start talking about a $6 million bond that we’ll have to pay off,” said LaCicero.

The tax increase is equal to about one penny per $100 of assessed property.

“It’s more than we’d like to see, but we can’t afford to cut the budget without knowing what the financial situation will be down the road,” the mayor said.

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