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.
"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.