By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
A year after declining, taxes are about to rise in Little Silver.
The borough council introduced its 2011 budget Monday, a $10.1 million spending plan that will boost the tax rate 2.6 percent, or 1.3 cents per $100 of assessed property value. At 51.1 cents, that equates to a $65 annual increase for a home assessed at the town average $500,000, said Chief Financial Officer Laura Geraghty.
Despite the hike, Mayor Suzanne Castleman said, “I’m very pleased. We came in under cap.
“We cut as much as we could,” she said, “and we are hopefully going to be able to keep up our level of service we provide.”
While spending across most departments was reduced, Geraghty said pension costs rose $125,000, health insurance increased about 15 percent and pending litigation involving a police officer could cost upwards of $70,000. Meanwhile, employees will see 2-percent raises as part of their contracts, Castleman said.
The borough is in negotiations with the police union and is looking at health insurance options to find more savings, she said. But, considering there were no layoffs and no departments took any critical hits in forming the budget, Little Silver is in good shape for the year, she said.
“We were able to do quite well and it worked out for us,” Castleman said.
The budget is up for a public hearing and adoption at 7p April 18.