The Union County Freeholder Board on Thursday night approved its final 2020 budget with a zero percent tax increase that will maintain all essential services, with no layoffs.
It continues the County’s trend of fiscally responsible budgets, and maintains the County’s bond rating which is the highest attainable.
“As I said before, knowing the impact the COVID-19 epidemic is having on our residents and business owners, I instructed Fiscal Chairman Granados and our County Manager to tighten the budget as much as possible and deliver a zero percent tax increase,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “This was not an easy task given the pressures that all governing agencies are under, but it was absolutely necessary.”
Freeholder Fiscal Committee Chairman Sergio Granados stated: “We know our residents and businesses have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we worked hard to find a middle ground that allowed us to fund the response, avoid layoffs and hold the bottom line.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a Catch-22 situation for our residents and all governing agencies. Unemployment has surged, revenue sources have been greatly diminished, while funding is needed to respond to the pandemic and assist our residents and business owners,” Granados said. “Through our collaborative efforts, we’ve been able to achieve our goals.”
Both Mirabella and Granados thanked the other Freeholder Fiscal Committee members, Christopher Hudak, Rebecca Williams, Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded, County Manager Edward T. Oatman, Deputy County Manager Amy Wagner and Finance Director Bibi Taylor and her staff for leading the effort. Both Freeholders also thanked all the County Directors who were asked to adjust their budgets accordingly.