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.

Sign Up for E-News

"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.