Just recently, a 2019 county budget proposal was introduced by the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders. According to the members of the board, this budget is aimed to meet the needs of the county’s citizens, numbering 335,000, and to maintain its triple-A bond rating.
The proposal, which has a budget of $238,830,496 will cause the county’s tax rate to rise by 1.30 percent this year. This only means that the average homeowner in Somerset will be expecting an additional $37.62 increase in their annual county tax.
According to Patricia Walsh, the board’s Deputy Director, they are obliged to perform effectively and efficiently as they continue providing the taxpayers with the services they need while maintaining Somerset’s triple-A bond rating at the same time.
She added that they increased the cost to 1.7 percent for 2019. The fact that the area’s health benefits have been maintained at a flat cost for two years in a row is actually noteworthy, especially if you are to compare them to other regions which have experienced a 5-6% increase in the past few years.
Since it is still a proposal, it will be subject to a public hearing which will be held on May 14 at 6:30 PM in the county administration building.
Brian Levine, Freeholder’s Director, stated that he understood how important fiscal responsibility is, even adding that the county has been providing high-quality programs and services for the interests of its citizens.
Additionally, Freeholder alternate finance committee liaison Sara Sooy added that Somerset county’s position as among the best places to live in and work is no accident. It’s been made possible since the board did their very best to maintain the county’s high quality of life that the citizens need.
This 2019 budget proposal will aim to fund Somerset’s employee health center in full, maintain flat costs for health benefits, and more.