(Passaic County, New Jersey) – On Tuesday, February 14th, the Passaic County Board of County Commissioners introduced its FY2023 budget with no increase in the tax levy for the 5th consecutive year. The County tax rate has now been lowered for the 7th year in a row, while maintaining vital investments in the Passaic County Park System, infrastructure, and programs serving our residents. Conservative budgeting practices and strong fiscal management allowed the County Commissioners to grow its fund balance, increase reserves, and protect the County’s Aa1 bond rating.

“Passaic County continues to be a leader in the State of New Jersey – not increasing the tax levy for the 5th consecutive year while maintaining key investments in our parks, infrastructure, and vital programs serving our residents,” stated Budget Committee Chairman Pasquale “Pat” Lepore. “Lowering the tax rate for seven consecutive years is an unprecedented feat and means that our County government is operating using 2015 budget numbers while dealing with 2023 costs. Conservative management practices by this Board are ensuring fiscal stability and increased growth in Passaic County, making it an ideal place to live, work, and visit.”

Last year, Moody’s Investor Service adjusted its credit rating criteria for governments nationwide, no longer including the size of a governments tax base in its scoring criteria and changing its previous methodology to include other post-employment benefits and long-term liabilities. Since the credit criteria change by Moody’s, twenty-four (24) governments were put under review in New Jersey, including Passaic County. Of those twenty-four (24), nine (9) were downgraded. In maintaining the County’s Aa1 bond rating, Moody’s noted that:

“The Aa1 issuer ratings reflect the County’s strong and diverse local economic with average resident incomes indicators, healthy reserve position and very strong governance.” (emphasis added). “The financial position of the County is strong and will remain healthy in the near-term driven by management’s active management over spending.” “The stable outlook reflects the expectation that the County’s economy and financial position will continue to show its strength.”[1]

“Passaic County now has the highest credit rating in the history of our County government,” stated County Commissioner Bruce James. “Moody’s said it best: the County’s healthy reserve positions, strong governance, and active management of spending means that we are on the right track to protect our taxpayers and are governing responsibly. This budget accomplishes the twin-goals of protecting our credit rating, which provides direct property tax relief, while keeping the tax levy flat for the seventh consecutive year.”

The 2023 budget hearing and adoption will be held on March 14th at 5:30PM. The Passaic County 2023 introduced budget and presentation can be found here: Passaic County 2023 Budget.

[1] Source: Moody’s Investors Services Press Release, December 20, 2022.


Press release via Neela Mahbuba, Public Information Officer County of Passaic

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified