TRENTON, N.J. - Mercer County’s amended 2013 budget, a $288,571,218 plan that limits spending while maintaining services, was formally adopted by the Board of Chosen Freeholders on June 27.
The budget calls for $243,809,895 to be raised by taxation, a levy that was reduced by $4.3 million since the budget’s presentation to the board in late February. The board also approved an open space tax of 2 cents per $100 of equalized assessed value for 2013, a penny less than the rate the Administration had initially sought in order to meet the need for open space acquisitions, recreational development, historic preservation and land stewardship.
County Executive Brian M. Hughes lauded the board for working effectively with the Administration throughout the budget process, noting that its cuts, along with his recommendation this week to keep the open space tax rate at last year’s 2-cent level, resulted in a net tax levy reduction of $8.5 million.
“Property taxes are weighing heavily on Mercer County citizens,” he said. “The Freeholders and my Administration really scrutinized this budget to search for ways to reduce spending, and I appreciate the board’s keen eye and hard work to get this budget done.”
Freeholder Board Chairman John Cimino also called the budget review process a success.
“This board worked extremely hard to find areas in the budget that we believed could be tightened without losing programs and services,” he said. “We appreciate the willingness of the Administration to work with us so that we could reach a budget agreement that is more favorable for our residents.”
County taxes are equalized to reflect the difference between municipal property assessments and property market values. A resident’s tax rate will rise or fall depending on his or her municipality.
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