Tax Rate Up Half-Cent in Barnegat Light

Apr 19, 2017

Barnegat Light’s  $3.5 million municipal budget with its half-cent tax increase for 2017 was approved by borough council April 12. On the average assessed value of a property, which is $785,009 in Barnegat Light, the tax bill will rise by $43, said borough Chief Financial Officer Kathleen Flanagan.

An increase in costs for police and garbage collection services “contributed to the reason we raised the taxes half a cent,” Flanagan said after the meeting.

The borough contracts police patrol service from Long Beach Township. The current contract contained an increase of 2 percent this year. It expires Dec. 31, 2017, to be renegotiated after that.

Meadowbrook Industries holds the trash collection contract. Other increases were seen in the cost of utilities, gasoline and insurances, excluding health insurance.

The municipal purposes tax levy in Barnegat Light is now 21.7 cents. This figure does not include county and school taxes.

Guarded beaches open June 10, announced Councilwoman Dottie Reynolds, chairwoman of the beaches and parks committee. Seasonal beach badges must be purchased by June 9 to get the pre-season price of $30. Beginning June 10, the cost is $40 for a seasonal badge.

A new bonus this year is that tennis courts can be reserved at no charge with a season beach badge, council agreed. Those who do not have season beach badges will pay $10 per hour.

Neighbors coming back after the winter will notice that a swipe card is now needed for entry into the dog park, Reynolds also reminded. The pass card is free to residents of Barnegat Light but costs $30 for out-of-town residents. The cost is $10 for weekly visitors (Saturday to Saturday.)

To get the “paw pass,” residents can go to borough hall on East Seventh Street and show their 2017 dog license (or out-of-town residents can show their current license from their town) along with the current rabies certificate. They will then fill out the required paperwork.

For those who are not in town to get the pass at borough hall, they can mail in the registration using forms found on the website, on the “important forms” page. Card and tag can then be picked up during borough hall hours, or borough staff will mail them if the applicant includes a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

During the summer season, passes and tags can be obtained at the beach badge booth behind the post office on West 10th Street. The booth is open Saturdays in May and seven days a week starting in June.

Council also appropriated $300,000 from the borough’s capital improvements fund for the planned pavilion at the former Coast Guard housing property at Sixth Street and Bayview.

“This is money we already have in the budget; we’re not borrowing it,” Flanagan said.

An engineering review determined that the pavilion must have structural steel support to bear the roof. An update by Councilman Ed Wellington stated construction may be underway by mid-summer.

Among other discussion was introduction of a 2-foot increase in the allowable building height, raising the limit to 32 feet. (See separate story.)

— Maria Scandale

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