Shaun C. Van Doren
Hunterdon Commissioners Freeze County Tax RateFor Fifth Year In A Row In 2023 Budget
Meeting a pledge made in January by Hunterdon County Commissioner Board Director Zach Rich, the Hunterdon County tax rate will be frozen for the fifth straight year under the 2023 County Budget introduced by the Board of Commissioners April 4th.
Rich, who became Board Director at the January 4th Re-organization meeting, stated, “Back in January, I said that as prices and rates continue to escalate everywhere else due to inflation, this Board can keep in check for our taxpayers and homeowners the one cost that is our responsibility – the county tax rate. And with this budget being introduced tonight, that goal has been successfully achieved, due to our conservative fiscal philosophy and the solid financial foundation established over the years.”
The county tax rate set by the $108,301,856 budget is 31.5 cents per $100 of property valuation, the same rate as it was in 2018. Budget Committee member Commissioner Shaun C. Van Doren noted, “The flat rate for five straight years doesn’t happen by chance, but rather is the result of a detailed budget review process. The Budget Committee goes line-by-line through expenses, to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used wisely and sparingly.” Van Doren, who also serves as the Board’s liaison to the Department of Engineering and Public Works, continued, “This year’s budget also leverages New Jersey Department of Transportation grant dollars by making matching investments in county infrastructure including bridges and roadway resurfacing.
Additional infrastructure projects in this budget document include repairs and upgrades to numerous culverts across the county and targeted improvements to county facilities.” Commissioner John E. Lanza, a member of the Board’s Budget Committee, said, “Freezing the rate again is a remarkable achievement due in large measure to the combination of strong fiscal oversight, continued innovation in government, and commitment of our county department leaders in the budget process.”
Lanza, also the Board’s liaison for the Department of Public Safety, added, “This year’s budget also contains the necessary funding to support buildout for Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Emergency Services Training Center (ESTC) upgrade. The additional funding to complete the ESTC is a demonstration of this Board’s commitment to high level preparation and training for our first responders, most of whom are volunteers, who risk their lives every day for our safety.
The public hearing on the budget will be May 2nd at 5:30 pm in the Commissioners’ Meeting room, 2nd floor, Administration Building, 71 Main Street, in Flemington.