***CMC Herald*** The taxpayers of West Wildwood could see a 6-cent increase

***CMC Herald*** The taxpayers of West Wildwood could see a 6-cent increase

WEST WILDWOOD – The taxpayers of West Wildwood could see a 6-cent increase in the local purpose tax if the 2023 municipal budget is approved.

“The auditor said it would be right around 6 cents,” said Commissioner Joseph Segrest, the borough’s director of revenue and finance.

Countywide, municipalities are seeing a larger-than-normal tax rate increase in 2023, primarily due to a 22% increase in municipal health care costs statewide. 

Segrest presented some highlights of the 2023 municipal budget, which was introduced at the March 3 commissioners meeting. Using dollar figures rather than percentages, Segrest said the cost of police salaries and wages was going up $71,000 in 2023. 

When asked during public comment to clarify if that was total police department or only salaries and wages, Segrest said police salaries and wages were going from $459,000 in 2022 to $530,000 in 2023.

Commissioner John Banning, the borough’s director of public safety, said the difference was because the borough changed how it managed employees.

“The police department switched to all full-time officers starting this year,” he said.

Liability insurance was going up $20,000, electricity was being increased $6,000 and streetlights, $6,500. Costs for gasoline, diesel and water had no change.

Animal control costs showed a $6,000 increase. Segrest said the borough is billed based on the number of animals handled. He said animal control handled 18 animals for the borough in 2022, but the borough did not handle calls for 18 animals. He said when people pick up a stray animal and turn then in to animal control, the borough is ultimately billed for the service.

The cost of telephones decreased $7,700, data processing costs were going down $10,000, and engineering services were dropping by $15,000 over 2022.

The budget document was not immediately available but was expected to be online by March 7.


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