City Revenues Rise $1,268,771.83 In 1937 Over Previous Year

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Camden Courier-Post – February 1, 1938

Gross Receipts Tax Windfall Provides Half of Gains in Record-Breaking Total

MAYOR ISSUES REPORT

By A. CHARLES COROTIS

Camden City collected $1,268,771.83 more in current and delinquent taxes and miscellaneous revenues in 1937 than in 1936, it was revealed in an official report prepared by Comptroller Sidney P. McCord arid released yesterday by Mayor George E. Brunner.

Current tax collections increased from $3,951,300.99 to $4,153,493.71, a gain of $202,192.72, while receipts from tax title liens more than doubled as a result of the intensive liquidation campaign carried on by the department of revenue and finance through its certificate bureau, headed by Isadore H. Hermann.

Whereas revenue from liens amounted to only $229,027.99 in 1936, last years’ collections from this source totaled $482,562.68. Delinquent tax collections were $14,667.23 and under 1936, due mainly to the improvement in current collections in 1936 as compared with prior years, which left less taxes outstanding at the end of the year of levy.

Cross-Receipts Levy Is Windfall

Contributing virtually half the record-breaking revenue increase was the windfall from gross-receipts taxes.

Against an anticipated $322,648.31 and 1936 receipts of $107,265.09, the city actually got $728,068.15. In addition it collected $284,939.46 in franchise taxes, compared with $185,008 for 1936.

These two gains followed the decision by the Court of Errors and Appeals holding State Tax Commissioner J. H. Thayer Martin without authority to disregard municipal assessments of utilities personal property and substitute his own figures, derived from its “unit-capacity-production” yardstick.

The largest advances in miscellaneous revenues, exclusive of these two sources, came from miscellaneous interest and costs. which jumped $79,558.83, and surplus from the water bureau, which jumped $65,999.21.

The water bureau, operated under Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann, turned over to the city treasury $253,804.24 as against a 1936 total of $187,805.03.

Water collections, aggregated $619,451.12, made up of $325,984.92 in current fiat rates, $206,431.53 in current meter, $52,213.36 in one-year delinquent flat-rates, $19,625.37 in one-year meters and $15,195.95 in miscellaneous revenue.

Other Sources Swell Revenue

The 1936 total was $570,919.01, broken down into $281,861.27, current flat; $198,972.68, current meter; $72,156.91 delinquent fiat and $17,928.15 miscellaneous.

Other sources of revenue which showed increases over 1936 were bank stock taxes, city clerk’s office, city property, District Court, building bureau, treasurer’s office, cemeteries, municipal markets and Convention Hall.

Accounts that decreased were the highway bureau, department of public safety, Recorder’s Court, electrical bureau, health bureau, plumbing inspectors, radio station WCAM, South Jersey Port Commission and assessments.

Budget Estimates Far Exceeded

The Port Commission, which for years had returned only $50,000 of the $190,000 which the City annually appropriates to it, and from which Mayor Brunner received $66,750 in 1936, dropped back to $56,750 last year.

Actual receipts exceeded budget estimates of miscellaneous revenues last year by $694,003,06, of which surplus $405,419.84 came from gross receipts taxes while franchise taxes contributed $99,939.46. In 1936 the receipts were $108,062,27 above anticipations, marking the first time in many years that a deficit did not exist. A favorite trick of previous administrations was to inflate miscellaneous revenue estimates beyond all reasonable expectations to hold down tax levies and rates..


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