By Thomas A. Arnone
It’s that time of year again, and activity within Monmouth County is busier than ever. Although Memorial Day is now behind us, I would like to thank the municipalities within the county for their efforts in organizing the many fantastic parades in honor of all the men and women who so selflessly have given of themselves to protect us and this great land we live in. I consider it truly an honor and a privilege to have been able to participate in recognizing the multitude of true heroes, both past and present. It was great to see the residents of Monmouth County coming out in droves to show their support. Everyone coming together made it a reality. We certainly all have so much to be thankful for.
The weather has been nothing less than stellar and the Jersey shore is at its best. Recently the county kicked off the summer season by once again launching the Shore EZ Ride Jitney. We were very excited to have the city of Long Branch host the kickoff. As a continuum from last year, the jitney will provide low cost transportation to the train, beaches, restaurants and shops in the wonderful shore communities of Long Branch, Asbury Park, Bradley Beach and Ocean Grove. We strongly encourage everyone to utilize this wonderful service to help ease traffic congestion while also helping to contribute to Monmouth County’s tourism economy. At only $1 per ride, visitors and residents alike can thoroughly enjoy what these towns have to offer and in turn come to understand what makes Monmouth County the Place You Want to Be.
With the warm weather comes an entire host of activities to enjoy.
In other news, Monmouth County’s Online Tax Assessment Program is rapidly expanding. A total of 46 out of the 53 municipalities within the county are now saving taxpayers money by participating in these increasingly popular and cost effective shared serves.
Monmouth County continues to expand its shared services partnerships with the municipalities for property tax assessment services. As liaison to the county’s Office of Shared Services, I believe these services help local governments save money by eliminating the need to hire outside vendors or local staffing to support the technology. Software, known as MOD4, is the state-certified property assessment software to be utilized by each municipality and county tax board in New Jersey. With staffing reductions and increased appeal filings statewide, there is an increased interest in the online appeal system developed by the Monmouth County Board of Taxation. At full deployment, the Online Appeal System would generate $194,000 in sublicense fees and $60,200 in annual revenue for the county, while saving local tax dollars.
These services reduce county and local expenses, generate deeply needed county revenues and position us to provide the transparency that the taxpayers deserve. All of this can be offered with no additional staffing.
Thomas A. Arnone is Deputy Director of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders.