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In Interlaken: No Increase in Municipal Tax Rate

 

coaster-news-200Interlaken taxpayers will see no increase in their municipal tax rate this year after the Borough Council last week applied $5,000 in surplus to keep the tax rate stable.

Under a previous budget presented to the council, the average home, which is assessed at $568,827, would have seen an average $6 total increase in the municipal tax rate.

The Interlaken municipal tax rate has been fairly stable for the past few years.

Councilman Keith Miller said it was ultimately a bipartisan effort to amend the budget.

“We discussed minimal cuts in numerous areas but our chief financial officer said it would be easier to take from surplus than cherry pick many individual line items,” he said.

“I felt that in a $2.2 million budget you have to be crazy not to be able to find $5,000 to make it a zero increase,” he said.

Councilman Robert Napoli said he believes the line items should have been reviewed to make any cuts.

“I felt we should have gone over the budget line by line- using addition surplus was against my wishes,” he said.

“We rely on using surplus too much and I feel we need to be prudent. But we’re at zero- it was a struggle but residents will see no municipal tax increase,” he said.

This year’s total $2,270,439 budget is down slightly from last year’s total $2,272,819 because last year the borough had an emergency appropriation to purchase a frontend loader to clean up debris after Superstorm Sandy.

The borough will now apply $230,000 in surplus toward this year’s budget, leaving $218,575 in surplus. The budget is within the state-imposed 2 percent cap on spending increases.

In other business, the borough web site (www.InterlakenBoro.com) has been completely redone.

“Log on and you will see a world of difference. We had some problems with crashes before but we have changed servers, web design and it is much easier for us to put things up and take things down now. It’s considerably easier for the consumer to use,” Miller said.

He said the web site had remained unchanged since it was first introduced almost six years ago.

“This is our first, visible change,” he said.

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