Arnone Report: Monmouth County Spending $43.8 million less than in 2010

By Tom Arnone, Monmouth County Freeholder Director

Freeholder Director Tom Arnone

Happy Spring!

Last week the 2019 Monmouth County budget was approved during the March 18th meeting of the Board of Chosen Freeholders. The adopted budget is $449.6 million, for comparison, in 2010 the County Budget peaked at $493.4 million, before its steady descent to $449.6 million in 2019, a decrease of $43.8 million.

In 2010 the County spent $173.6 million on salaries and wages, and in 2018 the county spent $166.8 million.  That amounts to a $6.8 million reduction in payroll spending while providing salary increases to our employees in each of those years, and maintaining services. This can be credited to an aggressive approach to vacancies and the provision of services including job consolidation, shared services, and outsourcing.

The County made a conscious decision to draw down on reserves or fund balance in the short term to provide taxpayer relief while implementing a plan to ultimately bring the County back in to balanced operations. We lowered the utilization of fund balance to be a more realistic number. To accomplish this we used a common approach of utilizing what we are already regenerating. The County did our best to close this gap as much as possible with little impact on taxes, but when dealing with State mandated cost increases of $2.2 million and other revenue losses, there was no other choice than to close the remaining $1.5 million with a modest tax increase.  Without the increase in pension costs the tax increase would not have been necessary, and in fact could have resulted in a small tax decrease like we did in 2016 after the sale of the County Care Centers.

It should also be noted that the County has complied with both the long standing 1977 Tax Levy CAP, as well as, the newly enacted 2010 Tax Levy CAP and in fact has raised taxes far less than the CAP laws would have allowed the County to raise taxes.  The County is required to calculate both CAPS and operate under whichever one is more restrictive.  The County tax levy for 2019 could have been as high as $314.1 million while still complying with the CAP laws.  The County adopted a tax levy for 2019 of $305.5 million, or $8.6 million under the permitted CAP.

As I have said many times before, we do not start working on the budget in the early months of 2019. Instead, my colleagues and I work throughout the entire year to efficiently run our departments while keeping costs down. I already look forward to working on the following year’s budget and I am certain I will begin meeting with our finance team in the coming weeks.

As always, it’s a privilege to serve as your Freeholder Director.


Posted: March 25th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments »

6 Comments on “Arnone Report: Monmouth County Spending $43.8 million less than in 2010”

  1. Steve Adams said at 1:22 pm on March 26th, 2019:

    The county is spending spending 48 million less than 8 years ago. 8 years ago is about when the effects of the corrupt reign of Harry Larrison as freeholder/freeholder director ended after about 40 years of official misconduct and documented corruption.
    Now we know better the size of the corruption and taxpayer damage that Harry Larrison and his “family and friends” did to Monmouth County taxpayers. So $40M per year over decades…
    Why is there a building named after him on the County’s Brookdale Community College campus. Our children on that campus are developing their value system and should not see corruption rewarded and idealized. Its a tribute to corruption and official misconduct and an embarrassment to the republican party that has the ability to fix it.

  2. Wait said at 6:28 pm on March 26th, 2019:

    for it.

  3. check mate said at 6:56 am on March 27th, 2019:

    one word, Steve.
    Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station

  4. Give it up said at 10:53 am on March 27th, 2019:

    already! The guy’s vision and work gave us the best parks, libraries, and community college in this state. That is indisputable fact you continually avoid. You really should consider some analysis/ medication for this deep- seeded personal resentment- it’s just not healthy!

  5. @ One Trick Pony said at 1:17 pm on March 27th, 2019:

    Steve will you give it up already please?

    My God this is the only thing you complain about why don’t you deal with the present I’m work to get rid of the corrupt Democrats that are running Trenton right now.

    One begins to wonder with all of your rants if Harry larrison did something to you personally

  6. Amen. said at 9:02 pm on March 27th, 2019:

    Have been one of those who has accused “Steve” of never recovering from (apparently) not getting some job or board from the former director, at some point, or, maybe one for a kid. Whatever, you are accurate that we get he didn’t like the man, but enough is enough, with the same old, same old!….