County Adopts Budget with 5.1 cent tax rate decrease The 2006 county tax rate is lowered to 55 cents - lowest since 1967
(Woodbury, NJ)- Gloucester County Freeholders plan to adopt their 2006 budget tonight which calls for the county tax rate to be reduced by 5.1 cents over last year; bringing the rate to fifty-five cents.
"This is the lowest tax rate in Gloucester County since 1967," stated Freeholder Director Sweeney. "This Freeholder Board has made a commitment to providing quality services to our residents, regionalizing services to promote costs savings, handling large scale programs and projects for our municipalities, promoting economic development to provide jobs and to fiscal responsibility to our taxpayers."
"Our dedication toward this commitment has generated success in job creation and economic development. This decrease in the tax rate is a direct reflection on our ability to promote Gloucester County's attributes to business, industry and new residents while preserving our land and improving the quality of life," Director Sweeney said.
Freeholder Director Sweeney explained that stabilizing the tax rate over the past seven years is one reason Gloucester County has been ranked among the top ten percent in the nation in job growth. Director Sweeney noted that a stable tax rate is one of the biggest factors that businesses look to when considering relocating or staying in a region.
Sweeney said, "We will continue to provide direct tax savings to our municipalities through regionalization of services like 911 dispatching and storm water management, and direct tax savings on education. Through our shared administration of our GCIT and Special Services School District we have been saving taxpayers $1 million annually, and anticipate at least another $1 million in savings per year from the new school for autism we are building."
"Education, law enforcement and public safety, expanded programs for our seniors, children and families are all included in this budget," said Freeholder Deputy Director Damminger.
March 8, 2006
Gloucester County Adopts budget
"We are constantly working on increasing programs while creating efficiencies to meet the needs of our residents and the 2006 budget accomplishes our goal," Damminger said.
Sweeney and Damminger said that this year the county will break ground on the first phase of the new equestrian park (DREAM Park) in Logan; the Bankbridge Development Center (Autism School), and begin the next phase of renovations to the Courts. In addition to these projects, the 2006 operations and capital budgets include funding for the following:
- $12 million in capital funding to Gloucester County College and $8 million for operations;
- $6.6 million in funding for the GCIT, representing a $1million increase (GCIT is now a full-time program with no tuition charge); and an additional $4.4 million for renovations;
- $9 million in highway and infrastructure improvements;
- Funding for the purchase of two additional serv-a-tray vans and staff to expand delivery of meals to homebound senior citizens;
- Adding boat and kayak rentals at the county's Scotland Run Park, and a new picnic shelter and other improvements;
- Expanded Parks programming;
- Repairs to the Whitall House at Red Bank Battlefield;
- Improvements at the Pitman Golf Course;
- Community buses;
- Software for law enforcement agencies and computer equipment for the county's 911 dispatching center;
- $4.5 million for road overlays this year that gets the county started on having its 404 miles of county road receive new overlay over the next 20 years; and the county will be reconstructing Wilson Road Bridge over Bells Lake Branch in Washington Township, and also reconstructing its roadway approaches between the Black Horse Pike (State Route 168) and County Route 705 (Woodbury-Turnersville Rd.)
Freeholder Damminger, liaison to the Office of Land Preservation, said that in addition to the economic growth the county has experienced, that there is close attention paid to preserving farmlands and open space.
"The County is going to be settling on 20 farms over the next several months, the most we have ever preserved in this time frame. Our farmers want to farm, they don't want to be bought out by developers. Our program allows our farmers to continue making Gloucester County the agricultural leader in New Jersey," stated Damminger.