From the APP:
During the first two years of Matthew Doherty’s term as the mayor of Belmar, unwelcome outcomes came up zeroes: no layoffs, no gimmicks and, most important, no tax increases. But with his beachfront tax base decimated by superstorm Sandy, the Democratic mayor is pulling that feather from his cap for 2013. The borough will lose about $140,000 in revenue, he said.
“It’s going to be a salary-and-benefits year,” he said, meaning there will not be room in the budget for new vehicles, equipment or nonessential supplies.
“So it’s going to be lean, not because our expenses are so high, but because we’re losing so much revenue,” Doherty added. “And I think that’s the same of every municipality along the coast from Sandy Hook to Cape May.”
Unless the Federal Emergency Management Agency picks up the full tab for the Oct. 29 storm, that will at least be true up and down Monmouth and Ocean counties, experts and town officials said. Budgets will be lean in some departments but expanded in others, including for overtime and cleanup related to the Oct. 29 storm, and the costs will be reflected in next year’s tax bills. With no clarity on whether FEMA would up its reimbursement rate from 75 percent to 90 or even 100 percent, as requested, public officials’ anxiety waxed as the year waned.
“That’s the Grinch that stole Christmas,” said William G. Dressel Jr., executive director of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. “Hopefully it won’t be a Grinch. Hopefully we’ll all receive pleasant news under our Christmas trees and the average taxpayer won’t be saddled with these costs.”