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County budget is a sound financial plan

Typing Letter to the Editor for the Opinion page.

On May 27, the Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners unanimously adopted the 2021 county budget in the amount of $452,650,000, which is $150,000 lower than the 2020 budget. In addition, there will be no change to the county tax levy for 2021 as compared to the 2020 tax levy.

The annual county budget provides funding for essential county services, including the repair and upkeep of roads and bridges, the maintenance and preservation of park lands, and the operation of one of the largest circulating library systems in New Jersey.

The 2021 county budget also allows the county to continue to safely and effectively respond to any remaining challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last year, the county has provided vital health services and social services to our residents, and partnered with our municipalities, nonprofit organizations and small businesses on a number of important initiatives using federal CARES Act funding.

Testing and vaccination programs will continue well into the new budget year as we continue to collectively recover from COVID-19.

It is important to note that several of the larger budget “cost” drivers are beyond the county’s control this year.

On the appropriations side, state pension costs for PERS and PFRS have increased by $3,271,606, and the state psychiatric hospital cost share has increased by $1,444,709.

On the revenue side, federal inmate revenue has decreased by $2,374,880, and foreclosure revenue has decreased by $2,240,000 as a result of federal or state directives related to the pandemic.

The board of commissioners will continue to engage with our legislative representatives regarding these critical budget issues in 2021-22.

The 2021 county budget is a sound financial plan that will enable the county to provide the important public services our residents need and expect, while holding the line on taxes during this unprecedented time.

Additional information on the 2021 county budget and updates on county programs and services are available at www.visitmonmouth.com

Thomas A. Arnone
Commissioner Director
Susan M. Kiley
Commissioner Deputy Director
Nick DiRocco
Freehold Borough

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