Public Info

Union County Highlights Substantial Progress in Fiscal Success With Noteworthy Decrease in Long-Term Debt

In a remarkable display of financial prudence and strategic management, the Union County Board of County Commissioners and County Manager Ed Oatman, proudly announces a substantial reduction in long-term debt by tens of millions of dollars. This achievement is a testament to the county’s commitment to responsible fiscal policies and diligent stewardship of taxpayer resources.

“Over the past six years, Union County has chosen a path of financial prudence by consistently paying off debt in principal rather than resorting to the issuance of new debt,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded.  “This strategic approach reflects the county’s commitment to reducing financial burdens while ensuring a stable and secure economic future for its residents.”

New Jersey mandates that counties adhere to a maximum net debt limit of 2% of a 3-year average of the total equalized assessed value. In 2013, Union County’s net debt stood at .87% of equalized assessed value, while at the close of 2023, it had significantly decreased to .57%, showcasing a commendable 10-year change of a 34% reduction, equivalent to $46.57 million. Importantly, the majority of this debt reduction has been achieved since 2018, highlighting recent years’ focused efforts on financial sustainability.

It is noteworthy that Union County’s average equalized assessed value has experienced substantial growth over the same 10-year period, rising from $66.02 billion in 2013 to an impressive $91.25 billion. This upward trend reflects not only the county’s economic vitality but also its ability to manage fiscal challenges effectively.

“Union County’s latest fiscal achievements highlight a consistent pattern of responsible financial management, setting a high standard for municipalities across the state,” said County Manager Ed Oatman. “As we celebrate the reduction of long-term debt, we anticipate continued success in sustaining a vibrant, financially sound community for the benefit of all Union County residents.”

For the past several years, Union County has also maintained a Aaa bond rating, which was reaffirmed by Moody’s Investor Services in 2023 and the County continues to maintain its strong financial position looking forward through 2024 and beyond. A rating of Aaa is the highest a county government can achieve.  In fact, the County’s strong financial performance and AAA bond rating are attributed to its push toward operating efficiency and conservative budgeting practices.

“The county’s financial success is not only evident in percentage points but also in tangible dollar values,”  This announcement represents a strong and hardworking county management team,” said Commissioner Rebecca Williams, Chair of the Fiscal Committee. “The work of the County Manager, Finance Department and my colleagues on Board of County Commissioners, continue to remain committed to making the best use of taxpayer dollars and this is a true testament of that. I am incredibly proud of the County’s ability to deliver these results.”