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Posted on: August 4, 2022

DiMarco freezes county spending

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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Contact:  Director Frank J. DiMarco (856-853-3386) 

 

DiMarco freezes county spending

 

After adopting the county budget in April with a tax rate cut, the nation started seeing a rise in gas prices and inflation at the end of May, beginning in June.  Based upon this new trend of rising costs, Director Frank J. DiMarco saw a need to enact further assistance to the Gloucester County taxpayers. 

 

“After decreasing the tax rate and passing our annual budget, the world changed the game on us - inflation and rising gas prices.  This was not what was anticipated but I felt it necessary to act quickly and offer more relief for our residents,” said Director Frank J. DiMarco. “We are not seeing relief from the federal government, so Gloucester County is going to have to do the work for them.”

 

Director DiMarco added that although the County cannot control gas prices or rising inflation, we can control areas of spending.  

 

“Residents tell us their concerns and it’s up to us as Commissioners to address them. We do not have the luxury to just say, ‘We cannot do anything else.’  As government officials, we’re committing to actually following through for our residents by taking it a step further and freeze spending,” said Director DiMarco.

 

Director DiMarco outlines how the county is prepared to accomplish this aggressive move by freezing spending over the next 3 years.  DiMarco stated, “proactive initiatives put forth beginning in 2008 has made Gloucester County fiscally prepared to weather a recession in a stabilized way”.  These initiatives include:

  • Eliminated 463 positions to the tune of $31.9 Million in savings off the budget since 2008 
    • Closed our county correctional facility and regionalized the correctional services (first in the state to do so) and saved over $223 Million off the budget since 2013 
    • Consolidated and merged departments; shrank the size of management over the years by at least 40 positions
    • Over the past 15 years, like all organizations, the highest cost is personnel:  due to our attrition program and creative contract negotiations, our average increase in this line item has been less than 1%
  • Recognized as leaders in the shared service arena that has saved over $33.8 Million off the municipal budgets 
    • Reduced or provided a cost avoidance to the municipal government’s tax rate by an average of 16.03 cents (ranging from 7.66 cents to 36.69 cents depending on the municipality)
    • We DO NOT charge a municipality for these services unlike other shared services you have reported on in the State of New Jersey
    • Created our own internal shared services network between our sister county agencies and saved over $2.7 million and eliminated duplications
  • Aggressively pursued all State and Federal grant opportunities that minimizes the need for county taxpayer funded capital projects, which results in over 60 percent grant funding 
    • Invested in our county infrastructure during the past decade when interest rates were at an all-time low (less than 2%) and therefore all major projects were complete and will not overburden our taxpayers in the near future 
  • Cut the tax rate 2 years in a row and by committing to Freezing spending we project more tax rate cuts each year
  • Recognized by the Moody’s rating agency for our strong fiscal management and received an upgrade to our bond rating during a pandemic – which is unprecedented

Our 2022 Total Budgeted County Expenses were $236,052,235 which we are holding the line on for the next 3 years.

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