The Woodland Park Mayor & Council, at a special meeting on June 23, adopted the 2021 municipal budget.
“We were looking at a significant increase,” Mayor Kazmark said, noting that the tax hike was looking at about $115 on the average home when budget talks started. “We’re now at a $76 increase in taxes. While we'd like it to be less, it’s a far cry from where we were when we first started this process.”
Through the efforts of the Mayor, Council, and all the Borough's departments, the budget was trimmed to result in an increase of $76 on the average home, which is assessed at $345,000, the Mayor explained.
When the budget was introduced, the Borough was working to offset a massive loss of revenue in 2020 resulting from the COVID pandemic. These losses from court fines, police fines/tickets, and Code Enforcement permits/fees made up most of the loss, which is estimated to have been about $1.2 million. The funds the Borough received from the American Rescue Plan made a dent, but did not cover all the losses.
Total appropriations for the 2021 budget are $20,820,045.94. The amount to be raised by taxation is $14,470,139.46.
The Borough's Chief Financial Officer watched every single expenditure since the COVID pandemic began, Mayor Kazmark said, and the Borough only bonded for items that were absolutely inherent.