How is the county budget prepared?

The Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders each year directs the Freeholder Budget Subcommittee, the county administrator, assistant administrator and the county treasurer to prepare the county budget.

Each department director is involved with the planning and preparation of his or her respective department’s budget. The Freeholder Budget Subcommittee meets throughout the year with those department directors as well as with the various boards, authorities and commissions within the county government to thoroughly review their budget requests.

Once the Freeholder Budget Subcommittee has developed a tentative budget, it is presented to the full freeholder board for continued assessment and possible revision until it is ready to be formally introduced, usually sometime in February.

What makes up the county budget?

The County budget is one document, made up of two parts: an operating budget and a capital improvement program. Both parts, as one document, are adopted by the Board of Chosen Freeholders at the same time, after state approval and a noticed public hearing.

The operating budget shows revenues and appropriations. Monies can be expended following Board of Chosen Freeholder adoption of the budget.

The capital improvement program is only a plan. Ordinances must be adopted specifying projects and funding sources before funds can be expended. Ordinances can only be adopted after a noticed public hearing and vote by the Freeholders.

Are there public hearings about the budget?

Before the budget is approved by the freeholder board, a public session to preview the spending plan is held with municipal elected officials to give them the opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions.  One month after its introduction, the budget is the subject of a formal public hearing conducted by the freeholder board during one of its regular public meetings, after which the budget for that calendar year is adopted.

The freeholders adopt a temporary budget at the county’s annual stated organizational meeting at the start of the year, which provides for the orderly continuation of government until the new budget for that year is officially approved.

As a member of the public, how can I express my opinions about the budget?

Your input is welcome throughout the year. You may email the freeholders with your budget suggestions or your thoughts about any other matter, or you may call the freeholders’ office at 973-285-6010. You may also contact us via the website feedback form.

Where can I find more financial information?

The Transparent Government section of our website provides detailed information, including budgets, audits, debt statements, financial statements, and bill lists. A “Learn about…” section is included for those who want to learn more about the Morris County budgeting process, capital budgets, bond ratings, and operating budgets.

Where can I find information about public meetings?

Information about Freeholder public meetings and work sessions can be found in the Freeholder section of our website. In addition to the Board of Chosen Freeholder meetings, various commissions, boards and authorities hold public meetings. Information about those meetings can be found on the specific commission, board or authority website. MorrisCountyNJ.gov includes a list of all other county websites.

Public meetings can be found on the Morris County government meeting calendar.