Unanimously approved by freeholders

MANALAPAN, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders unanimously approved the County’s 2016 budget which is $18.2 million lower than last year. The new budget takes effect immediately.

“Responsible fiscal management is the reason we are able to deliver a plan that cuts county taxes 1.5 percent,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “Reducing expenses and maintaining the high standard of services which residents deserve are especially important. In these challenging times, returning spending to levels not seen since 2007 is an accomplishment that cannot be overlooked.”

As approved, the revenue raised by taxation is $302,475,000 – the same amount in each fiscal year between 2010 and 2014.

“The sale of the two county care centers was extremely valuable in resetting the new budget to less than the amount in 2007,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso. “This budget fulfills the board’s promise to operate efficiently and effectively.”

Last year, the County completed the sale of two community care centers which eliminated operating losses the centers incurred over the last several years. The public auction generated $32.4 million in revenue, over $18 million more than anticipated.

“Monmouth County taxpayers expect and deserve a fiscally responsible government that meets the challenge to cut costs wherever possible,” stated Freeholder John P. Curley. “The sale of the care centers benefits taxpayers by eliminating a huge financial loss, while ensuring continued quality, long-term care for the centers’ residents.”

The 2016 budget continues the efforts of the Freeholder Board to decrease spending while meeting its obligation to fund mandated cost increases.

“Each year the board prioritizes spending and seeks to eliminate waste,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry. “Monmouth County offers some of the finest services in the state, such as a highly regarded Park System and an exemplary Library. This budget is the result of all offices and departments working together and understanding the important role they play in providing cost-effective services.”

Monmouth County continues to maintain its AAA bond rating from the three major rating services. Towns, school districts and other government agencies benefit by having the ability to borrow money at low interest rates through the Monmouth County Improvement Authority.

“The county’s sound fiscal management enables local governments to finance important projects at the best interest rate available,” commented Freeholder Gary J. Rich, liaison to the Finance Department. “The noteworthy bond rating is due to the ongoing monitoring of costs and finding opportunities where duplicative services are either consolidated or eliminated. Taxpayers are entitled to a government that scrutinizes every dollar spent.”

Monmouth County is one of 32 counties nationwide that is rated AAA by all three credit agencies.

“The county’s AAA credit rating reflects prudent fiscal oversight,” remarked County Finance Director Craig R. Marshall. “This top rating provides municipalities with an attractive financing vehicle that ultimately benefits residents by reducing interest rate expenses and allowing critical projects to move forward.”