YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A projected $500,000 in revenue from Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino’s office helped the freeholders’ budget committee craft a fiscal 2014 county spending plan that reduces taxes for the first time in history — slashing a $7.3 million tax hike proposed by Executive Kathleen Donovan, a spokesman said tonight.
The 2014-15 budget calls for a tax levy that’s $117,077 less than last year’s, the first overall tax cut in recent memory, said Peter Botsolas, the freeholder’s director of policy and communications.
The freeholders’ Budget Committee cut $6.8 million in spending, incorporated $500,000 in revenue from Saudino and reduced $121,900 from some county trust funds after Donovan proposed a $511 million blueprint.
Botsolas said the committee also began restoring funding to Bergen Community College.
The committee’s proposed budget “is the result of our commitment to go line by line to identify and eliminate fat,” Freeholder Chairman David L. Ganz said, adding that the board was “fiscally conservative without jeopardizing any services.”
“Every day, working people of the county, moms and dads, seniors on fixed incomes and young families buying their first home are forced to make difficult decision and watch every penny spent,” Freeholder James Tedesco added. “This budget puts $7.4 million dollars back in their pockets.”
All of the freeholders were invited to the budget sessions and proposed cuts or additions, Botsolas said.
The plan could still change before its introduction on Wednesday, once it’s reviewed by the county CFO, he said.
A public hearing then will be held, with an adoption vote expected in early June.
TOP PHOTOS: Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino, Bergen County Freeholder Chairman David Ganz, Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan (ALL: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter)
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