Sandy Causes Tax Revenue Concerns

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Toms River. November 26, 2012

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Ocean County Administrator and Freeholder John Bartlett testify at Senate Budget Committee hearing in Toms River

Some Jersey Shore towns struggling to clean up the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy are faced with another problem: how to deal with a loss of tax revenue.

Toms River Business Administrator Paul Shives says the storm damaged or destroyed homes representing 30 percent of the township’s assessed valuation.

 “The first order of business to us is to implore the state to look at some type of financial assistance, and I’m not taking about for frills. I’m talking about for basic daily services that we’re going to have to provide to our residents.”

Ocean County Freeholder John Bartlett says some towns on the barrier islands have lost half or more of their property tax base because of the damage to homes and businesses.

He expects people will eventually rebuild on the coastline, and its value will come back.

 “Will banks make loans to vulnerable areas? I don’t know. That’s a question. Will insurance companies insure homes in those areas? I don’t know. All of these are market driven considerations that will take some time to play out.”

In the meantime, Bartlett says hard-hit towns will need some temporary transitional aid from the state in order to operate and provide basic services like police protection and trash collection.


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