Budget address in Northfield

From left, Freeholder Frank Formica, Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, and Freeholder Chairwoman Amy Gatto, at Levinson's budget address in January.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson told the Greater Atlantic City Chamber the county’s finances are among the nation’s best Wednesday during the annual State of the County luncheon at Blue Heron Pines Golf Club.

The county’s bond rating is in the top 18 percent of 3,000 counties nationwide, he said.

“The business community was positive about the message, and he left the room feeling the fiscal management of the county is very strong. All the data supports that,” said chamber President Joe Kelly.

Kelly said the event was sold out and attracted more than 200 people from the local health care, utilities and casino industries and beyond.

Levinson called the county’s financial soundness “truly extraordinary,” considering the county had to refund $78 million over 10 years in successful casino-related property-tax appeals, lost $27.3 billion in its ratable base and saw five casinos close.

“And we had a terrible (real estate) foreclosure rate,” said Levinson.

Moody’s Investors Service gives the county a stable bond rating of Aa2, and Standard and Poor’s gives it an AA stable.

The county was able to provide financing for the new Stockton University Atlantic City Campus, unlike the city and state, which both have poor bond ratings, Levinson said. And it financed a new National Aviation Research and Technology Park at Atlantic City International Airport, kept Boscov’s afloat and open in Egg Harbor Township, lowered the tax rate this year and maintained a healthy surplus of $18 million.

Kelly said businesspeople appreciate that the county is in a good position to support new opportunities as they present themselves, much as the county supported the new Stockton campus and aviation park.

The Atlantic County freeholders introduced a $212.7 million general purpose budget last week, down from $217.5 million last year.

The general-purpose tax rate will drop from 50 cents per $100 valuation last year to 48 cents per $100 valuation this year, said County Administrator Jerry DelRosso.

Contact: 609-272-7219 mpost@pressofac.com Twitter @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments