CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — Property taxes in Camden could go up by 23 percent if the state government approves a rate hike.

The city council unanimously approved the increase on Wednesday, according to the Courier-Post of Cherry Hill.

The tax increase plan comes just after the city government slashed it work force, laying off 400 employees including nearly half the police officers.

Mayor Dana Redd said the tax increase could help the city rehire some of the laid off firefighters and police officers.

She says the city is due for a tax increase in part because it hasn’t had one for 15 years. And that’s one of the reasons for the huge budget gap that forced the layoffs.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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