First layoffs, now a tax hike in Camden

Massive layoffs, now a 23 percent property tax hike?  Following job cuts to police, fire, and other city workers last week, yesterday Camden City Council voted to allow a double digit property tax hike.It’s a rough month for Camden, New Jersey.  The city laid off about 400 workers, nearly half of them police officers and firefighters, because of the city’s budget woes–now this.  Longtime Camden resident Stephanie Culbreath lives and works in the Waterfront South neighborhood.  She says since the layoffs she has not noticed a decreased police presence.  “I don’t blame the Mayor because it’s been what 10, 15 years back because taxes and things have not been increased,” said Culbreath.  “So I understand where it’s coming from, it’s just hard to deal with now the way the economy is.”Culbreath works for a non-profit housing counseling agency that does delinquent mortgage counseling.  She says she’s been swamped with clients who have fallen behind on their mortgages and she worries more people in Camden will struggle if property taxes shoot up.

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