Salem County fund transfer OK may help ease budget pressure

TRENTON – Salem County received Local Finance Board approval today for a fund transfer as it deals with budget pressure.

TRENTON – Salem County received Local Finance Board approval today for a fund transfer as it deals with budget pressure.

The county received approval for two items: $1 million in a trust fund transfer, and $3.4 million for a down payment waiver.

County officials said they needed to use the $1 million to help relieve budget and tax-increase pressure. The approval will help them to reduce a tax increase from 6.7 cents to about 5.7 cents, they told the board.

In addition, the county has a layoff plan submitted to the state that would affect 21 people, already is reducing personnel through attrition, and is preparing for new contract talks with unions in which they hope to reduce some perks as current contracts expire this year.

Salem officials said they can afford this year to use that $1 million because their liability for that account is approximately $562,000, so the account is over-funded.

Board Chairman Thomas Neff, however, advised the county to start working with the state’s Division of Local Government Services to figure out what they will do next year, because this is essentially a one-shot remedy. Salem County fund transfer OK may help ease budget pressure