CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Homeowners in Camden may get hit with a 23 percent real estate tax hike to help ease the city’s ongoing cash crunch, which has led to the layoff of some 230 police officers and firefighters.

Camden City Council this week quietly approved a bid to ask the state for permission for the tax increase, which will mean an extra $160 a year to the average household.

That permission came Friday from the Local Finance Board within the Department of Community Affairs as called for under a state law that capped Camden’s ability to raise taxes more than three percent in any given year.

City Council will likely give final consent to the hike next week and it takes effect immediately.

The state’s two percent cap deals with 2012 fiscal year budgets, but city officials, in a statement, say they need the money now.

It would be the first tax hike on homeowners in 15 years.

How many people might be brought back with the $4.2 million dollar revenue infusion isn’t clear, and union talks on concessions continue.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio.

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