Somerset County News

County Introduces Budget With $5 County Tax Increase

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SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders introduced a county budget for 2017 with an increase of 1.97 percent in the amount to be raised by taxation.

According to a release from the county, if approved, the county tax will increase slightly from 32.01 to 32.13 cents per $100 of assessed value, or $5 per year on an average home of $423,006.

The budget is proposed at a total of $222,369,116.

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"We recognize that we have an obligation to taxpayers to operate efficiently and effectively, so we've continued to streamline our operations to provide essential services while maintaining Somerset County's exceptional triple-A bond rating and keeping the property tax impact to a minimum," freeholder Mark Caliguire, finance liaison, said in the release. "We've kept the increase in our costs to 1.97 percent, which is within the 2-percent state cap, and the increase in county property taxes on the average home in Somerset County is only $5 annually."

"Our fiscally prudent management of county resources continues to be a hallmark of Somerset County government," he added.

According to the release, the 2017 budget includes maintenance of parks, roads and more:

  • 248 center-lane miles of county roads and 752 county-owned bridges.
  • 39 park, recreation and open space areas encompassing about 15,000 acres.
  • fully funding 911 communications dispatch for 20 municipalities.
  • providing recycling collection and processing for 19 municipalities, including schools.
  • funding about 200 shared services with local governments and other organizations in the county.
  • partially funding budgets for the county vocational-technical schools, Raritan Valley Community College, board of social services and park commission.
  • fully funding the county jail and the county emergency services training academy.

In addition, the release said, since 2008, the total number of county employees has been reduced by 7 percent, from 1,329 to 1,242.

Public hearing on the budget will be held April 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the third floor meeting room of the county administration building at 20 Grove Street.

To view the entire budget document and presentation, visit http://bit.ly/SCBudget17.

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