Passaic County freeholders introduced a $411.8 million budget Tuesday that raises taxes by less than 2 percent.
The introduced tax levy is $310.8 million, a 1.9 percent jump from last year.
The increase is $2.8 million less than what is allowed by the state budget cap.
“This budget represents another step in the right direction,” said Freeholder John Bartlett, a Wayne resident. “We are bringing the increase under the 2 percent cap and still providing a lot of programs and services to Wayne residents.”
Bartlett referenced the county’s Meals on Wheels program and the nearly 29 miles of roadways that were either repaved or repaired since 2008.
The county has reduced its full-time employees to 1,854 from 2,392 in 2006, nearly a 23 percent reduction. The change is mostly due to the consolidation of the county’s Juvenile Detention Center with Essex County. The move is expected to save the county $10 million. It has already saved the county $45 million.
“This consolidation is the single biggest tax saving consolidation in New Jersey history and demonstrates that Passaic County is ahead of the curve in serving our residents,” Freeholder Pat Lepore said in a statement issued Tuesday night.
The freeholders are expected to approve the budget at public hearing March 26 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the county office at 401 Grand St. in Paterson.