FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 12, 2020
PASSAIC COUNTY BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS INTRODUCE 2020 BUDGET WITH NO INCREASE TO TAX LEVY
(Paterson, New Jersey) – At the February 11 Freeholder Meeting, the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders introduced the 2020 budget with no increase to the tax levy. The 2020 budget reflects continued efforts to build on fiscal stability to highlight the county’s rich history and bright future, preserve quality of life for the county’s diverse population by expanding cultural and recreational opportunities, provide critical investments to infrastructure, maintain parks and historic sites, identify shared services, stabilize taxes, reduce debt for future generations, and protect the county’s bond rating.
In October of 2019, Moody’s Investor Services upgraded Passaic County’s credit rating from Aa2 to Aa1, the second highest bond rating available, and the highest bond rating the county has ever received in its history. This allows Passaic County to secure better interest rates on bond issuances, and as a result, directly benefiting taxpayers.
“The 2020 Passaic County budget reflects the county’s strong financial position and conservative budgeting,” stated Freeholder Director Cassandra “Sandi” Lazzara. “The Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders is confident in the county’s financial future onward. We anticipate 84% of our debt to be paid off over the next ten years, in addition to continued increase of our fund balance. This will ensure the preservation of our programs, services and sites, along with building a bright future for generations to come.”
Over the last four years, the county levy has increased an average of only 0.46%; and over the last ten years, the county levy has increased an average of 1.76%, staying well under the state mandated cap. This has resulted in a decline of the county tax rate over the years. Moreover, the county currently holds the highest fund balance in its history, currently at $77,510,058 – a 194% increase since 2013.
“I am pleased to announce for the third time in the last four years, the Passaic County budget is being presented with no increase in the tax levy. We developed a roadmap to reform our government to operate more efficiently, restore a sense of balance to the county’s obligations, and make the county government sustainable for the long run. In this budget introduction, we are seeing the fruits of our labor. Passaic County is in the best financial position in its history,” stated Budget Committee Chairman Pasquale “Pat” Lepore.
“Over the last ten years, this board has invested over $30 million in the Passaic County parks system, making it one of the best in the state of NJ. Roads are being paved, every bridge in Passaic County has been either recently habilitated, is under design or under construction. We have increased our reserves to historic levels and aggressively paying off our debt, ensuring that future generations will not have to worry about the financial health of Passaic County. We are showing Trenton and Washington how to govern responsibly and effectively.”
The full 2020 Passaic County Budget can be found on the county website: www.passaiccountynj.org/budget.
CONTACT: NEELA MAHBUBA, (973) 225-5380