Posted Monday, January 14th, 2013

After seeing weekend headlines that property taxes in New Jersey rose at the lowest rate in two decades, Morris County Freeholder Director Thomas J. Mastrangelo credits Gov. Chris Christie, county and local efforts to control spending.

“Sunday’s news headlines that property taxes increased at the lowest rate in 21 years was made even more gratifying by the fact that Morris County property taxes, inclusive of local, school and county levies, actually fell by 0.8 percent,” Mastrangelo said. “In fact Morris County was the only county where property taxes fell.”

Mastgrangelo called the change in the direction of property taxes “remarkable,” and said first and foremost credit goes to Gov. Christie and his administration. “By enacting salary arbitration, health benefits and pension reform, local government was given the tools to reduce property taxes, and in Morris County we did,” Mastrangelo said.

The director noted Morris County has maintained a strong financial position as demonstrated by the county’s Aaa bond rating.

“When I took office two years ago, we sought further improvements by reducing the growth in county property taxes from $7 million to $8 million a year to $4 million the past two years,” he said. “In 2013 we are seeking no increase in property tax dollars to run county government while still delivering essential services. With the assistance and hard work of the department heads and employees of county government, I believe we can achieve this goal.”

Mastrangelo also complimented local officials for their “herculean efforts” to control costs and taxes.

He said he agrees with Christie when the governor said efforts at sharing services must be increased and that we must simply “stop spending.”

“I also call for the state legislature to finally pass sick pay and civil service reform,” mastrangelo said. “I know my fellow freeholders are ready to roll up their sleeves and work together for smaller, smarter government so we can continue to deliver tax relief to the residents of Morris County.”