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County Introduces Budget with 1.9 Percent Tax Increase

The nearly $412 million budget includes a $310 million tax levy. County has reduced the number of full-time employees by nearly 25 percent since 2006.

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.

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Jorgey February 27, 2013 at 01:00 PM
Give me a damn break No wonder Ms Bellos selling HER home! "look less then the 2%" why increase at all especially SINCE they downsized employees?
Al Scala February 27, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Has the County ever given any consideration to privatizing the Preakness Hospital? Why is the County in the Healthcare business? Is this hospital a money maker or is it losing money? If it is losing money, then what are the benefits it provides to we taxpayers?
Nose Wayne February 27, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Al, why don't you take a ride over the hill and look at the old Preakness Hospital. They were suppose to move all the furniture to the new Hospital but instead bought ALL new furniture to a tune of several hundred thousands dollars. All the new furniture they just recently bought is down there getting water damaged from the roof caving in. And don't forget to look to your left. All that county property that the county could have sold, they GAVE to the quarry so they could blast the mountain out and make lots of money on the counties expense.Like to see who made money on that deal ?
Al Scala February 27, 2013 at 07:11 PM
Nose....Prior to my mother passing away, my sisters and I did look at that facility. I thought it was a beautiful facility actually. I did not see any roof caving in at that time. I question how cost effective this is. Why is the County in the healthcare business? Does this have something to do with Federal dollars? Is it losing or making money? It should not be a financial burden on the taxpayers. My other concern is, is this facility a place to feed the patronage mill, by giving jobs to political cronies. I am always guarded about that. I wasn't aware about the property next to the hospital.
Nose Wayne February 28, 2013 at 03:16 AM
Al, the "new" hospital was suppose to cost 30 Million, but ended up costing us taxpayers 150 million.Would you say they went a little "over cost" ? And sorry about your mother passing Al.
Al Scala February 28, 2013 at 08:01 PM
Nose Wayne.....I am already over the hill. No need to take a ride there!

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