Generate New Tax Revenue Sources (other than property taxes):
1) Attract a Casino
2) Speed cameras
County Budget Reductions:
3) Zero based budgeting
4) Negotiate lower county road paving costs
5) Joint purchasing agreements with neighboring counties
6) Reduce take-home vehicles for county employees
7) Improve county employee retention rates
8) IT enabled process improvement
9) County Health Insurance savings
10) Stop spending historical preservation money on churches
New Jersey residents pay some of the highest property taxes in the United States. There are thousands of families in Morris County that pay over $20,000 per year in property taxes. This is a tremendous burden on them causing them to make significant sacrifices. A sizeable portion of your property taxes goes to the county budget, which is managed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
I’m running for Freeholder because I want to deliver property tax savings for county residents. Many voters have told me that property taxes are their #1 concern. Some have the misconception that their taxes will increase if they elect a Democrat. I’d like to change that misconception by offering 10 new property tax reduction ideas. Fiscal conservatism is not defined by party affiliation.
1) Attract a Casino to Morris County - A casino would provide a private investment of $1 Billion or more. The county could tax the gaming revenue and use this new revenue to offset property taxes for homeowners.
2) Introduce Speed Cameras on County Roads – Speed Cameras would serve a dual purpose for the county by providing a new revenue stream and by improving road safety. Speed cameras could be located in areas with the highest amounts of speeding violations. The cameras would take photographs of speeding vehicles and mail tickets to the drivers.
3) Zero-Based Budgeting – This is a budgeting technique that is employed by some of the most successful corporations in the country. Each year, budget owners would have to justify their full budget. This means that they can’t assume that they will get the same budget this year that they got last year. They will have to explain the full amount of the budget, not just the incremental changes. Budget owners will become more cost conscious and they will find savings.
4) Negotiate lower road paving costs – Morris County spends about $8 Million per year on 25 miles of county road paving. This amounts to about $320,000 per mile. Our neighboring counties are paying less. We should negotiate a lower cost per mile with our vendors.
5) Joint Purchasing Agreements – Joint Purchasing Agreements would allow Morris County to benefit from quantity discounts for all sorts of items. These could include automobiles, law enforcement equipment, and safety equipment.
6) Reduce take-home vehicles for county employees – There are many county employees that enjoy the privileges of a take-home vehicle even though their job doesn’t necessarily require one. I propose a full assessment of all take-home vehicles to validate that they are all necessary to perform the responsibilities of the position.
7) Improve County Employee Retention Rates – High employee retention rates leads to savings in human resources and recruiting. It also leads to savings in over-time because often times when positions are open remaining employees have to work over-time to fill in. Performing county wide a compensation assessment and providing increases to under-compensated employees would achieve this.
8) IT Enabled Process Improvement – Information Technology is a key to unlocking savings opportunities for county taxpayers. New Jersey residents are used to our government entities having antiquated and inefficient IT systems, such as the Motor Vehicle Commission. Companies like Google, Microsoft, and IBM offer technology solutions that would speed up our internal processes and improve employee productivity.
9) County Health Insurance Savings – Health Insurance for county employees is one of the largest components of the county budget. Providing high quality health insurance for county employees is a top priority, but the cost doesn’t have to be astronomical. I propose a re-evaluation of the insurance program to determine if a more cost effective solution exists, without sacrificing any of the quality.
10) Stop Spending historical preservation money on Churches – The County has a history of spending historical preservation money on houses of worship. The County is being sued due to the potential illegality of this spending and county residents are paying the legal fees. With so many homeowners struggling to make ends meet, I suggest that we should postpone this spending until the court case is concluded.