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The Morris County Board of County Commissioners unanimously adopted a 2024 Budget, with no increase in the tax rate

COUNTY OF MORRIS

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PRESS RELEASE:                                                                                                   

April 10, 2024

For Immediate Release

 

2024 Morris County Budget Adopted

Prudent Planning and 8.8% Ratable Growth Offsets Costs


The Morris County Board of County Commissioners unanimously adopted a 2024Budget tonight, with no increase in the tax rate as funding expanded for public safety, infrastructure, human services, education and training and economic development.



“Strong ratable growth and prudent financial planning made this budget possible,” said Commissioner Deborah Smith, Chair of the Commissioners’ Budget Committee. “We are able to increase services such as public safety and veterans’ affairs while maintaining a flat tax rate. We are very sensitive to the plight of the taxpayer amid inflation, despite increasing costs on the county.”

 

The $365.3 million 2024 Budget includes the 2024 Capital Spending Plan which puts nearly $35 million towards county infrastructure. This year’s fund balance grew by $2.5 million bringing it to $63.2 million, safeguarding Morris County against economic shifts and ensuring it maintains its triple-A Bond rating from both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.


“Morris County has maintained a triple-A rating for 48 years,” said Commissioner Director Christine Myers. “This impeccable rating saves everyone money by allowing our towns, schools and county to borrow funds for integral community projectsat the most competitive finance rates.”


The county’s robust financial health also helped the budget committee address growing expenses forced by mounting state mandates on operations at the Morris County Clerk’s Office and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.


The 2024 Budget allocates $38.1 million for Human Services and Health Services, which includes doubling to $300,000 a line item in emergency assistance funding to shelter and support people experiencing homelessness. The budget also commits another $150,000 toward funding allocated to prevent people from becoming homeless.

A combined $77.8 million will go towards public safety which includes full dispatch services to 23 municipalities and daily back-up services to local Basic Life Support and Emergency Medical Service units for all 39 Morris County towns. Morris County’s Basic Life Support Emergency Medical Service Unit responded to more than 3,862 Emergency calls in 2023.

 

Critical Community Investments

The Preservation Trust Fund Tax will stay level for 2024, at 5/8 cent per $100 of total county equalized property valuation. It has financed many county park improvements, preservation programs and restoration projects through grant programs like Farmland Preservation, Open Space Preservation, Historic Preservation, Flood Mitigation, and Trail Design and Construction.

 

Among the educational, cultural and economic development incentives included in the 2024 Budget are:

  •  $9 million to support the Morris County Park Commission which manages 20,455 acres of parkland, making it the largest county park system in the state.

  • More than $24 million to support education, including career training at the County College of Morris and the Morris County Vocational School District.

  • A record $900,000 for Economic Development and Tourism, including $100,000 for the celebration of America’s 250th Anniversary.

 

Critical Infrastructure Investments

The county’s 2024 Capital Spending Plan designates approximately $35 million toward enhancing road resurfacing, improving intersections along the 287 miles of county roadways, and replacing bridges and culverts.

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