Brick Township officials say taxpayers should have the opportunity to stave off potential tax hikes by staggering the repayment of bonds used to fund the Superstorm Sandy cleanup over 10 years.
State law currently dictates the bonds be paid over five years, leaving the township with the responsibility to pay off $6.9 million debt this year.
“Instead of having to make a $7 million payment this year, if you spread it over 10 years it could be a $3 million payment,” said Mayor John Ducey. “Ratables would come back on gradually and it could be paid off early.”
Brick is still down $357 million on its tax rolls due to properties that haven’t yet recovered from the storm, putting extra pressure on the taxpayers who are funding the recovery.
Superstorm Sandy recovery costs added up to an 11.3 cent impact on the township’s tax rate this year, though the sting was reduced to a minimal, 2 cent increase due to numerous cost-saving measures the township put into place, including the reduction of some debt and a restructuring of certain areas of municipal government by the Ducey administration that saved tax dollars, including animal control and worker’s compensation insurance.
The township council this week unanimously passed a resolution calling on the state to allow the emergency bonds to be paid off over the extended period of time. The resolution will be sent to Ocean County’s legislators as well as Gov. Chris Christie.