2021 $20 million budget at a Special Work Session on February 11, 2021.

Highlights include:
Spending is expected to increase by $1.3 million or 7% from $18.8m in 2020 to $20.1 million in 2021
Tax revenue is expected to increase by $2 million or 15% from $13.1 million in 2020 to $15.1 million in 2021
The municipal tax rate would increase by 13.3%, from $0.269 per $100 of assessed value to $0.305
The total tax rate on Stone Harbor homeowners, including municipal, Cape May County and Stone Harbor school district taxes are estimated to increase from $0.611 to $0.652 per $100 of assessed value, an increase of 6.7%. This estimate anticipates that the Cape May County taxation rate would increase from $0.288 to $0.293, a 2% increase, and the Stone Harbor school district taxation rate would remain unchanged from 2020’s rate of $0.054.
Expenditures include salaries, other operating costs, debt service and capital projects and other costs.

The year over year expenditures by category are as follows:
2021-2020 Increase Salaries – to $7.5m, from $6.8m = +$0.7m
Other Operating Costs to 4.7m,  from 4.6m  = +0.1m Debt Service
and Capital Expenditures to 6.2m, from 6.2m = 0.0m
Other to 1.7m, from 1.2m = +0.5m
TOTAL to $20.1m, from $18.8m = +$1.3m

Salary increases are driven by the $425,000 net costs of the new paid fire department and a $268,000 (15.5%) increase in salaries for the public works department. The public works pay increase reflects the expected resolution of the current negotiations with the public works employees union. The current proposal is for an across-the-board $5/hour raise in hourly wage levels.

Debt Service and Capital include an addition to the Beach and Bay reserves in an amount of $698,000 with $347,000 dedicated to each fund. This is the second year that funds have been added to these reserves. The reserves will be used to finance part of the cost of bay maintenance and beach renourishment.

Other costs include an increase of $142,000 for employee pension and SSI contributions.

A taxation increase of $2 million is required to finance the 2020 expenditures and anticipates not only the increase in expenditures described above ($1.3 million) but also a drop in other local revenues ($0.4 million) and the need to generate revenues to repay the 2020 beach patrol salary adjustment which was not provided in the 2020 budget ($0.3 million).

The 2021 budget anticipates use of $0.7 million of the cumulative surplus, which would leave $0.6 million remaining in the cumulative surplus.

In addition to the capital expenditures financed through the operating budget, as noted above, a Capital Expenditures of $7.0 million is budgeted in 2021.The expenditure is for stormwater system improvements. This expenditure is expected to be financed by borrowing

The Borough budget discussed at the meeting will be subject to further evaluation and will be discussed at the meetings listed below. SHPOA will continue to participate in these meetings and will keep members informed of developments as they occur. Members are welcome to join the meetings to hear more details and provide comments to the Mayor and Council, either in-person (subject to limitations as to in-person attendance at Council meetings) or virtually via Zoom. Information on how to virtually join Council meetings is available on the Borough website at https://stoneharbornj.org.

Further public sessions will be held on:
– March 2, Department heads will present budgets
– March 9, Special Meeting to introduce the budget
– March 16, (regular Council meeting) last before the final budget meeting
– April 6, Adoption of budget

A recording of the full meeting can be found here: https://youtu.be/9VUbOtZwlnI


If you are not already a member of SHPOA and own property in Stone Harbor, please join SHPOA by clicking https://dev.stoneharborpoa.org/join/

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