Towns, School Districts Urged to Buy Equipment Through MCIA

The Morris County Improvement Authority is urging towns and school districts in the county to look into its Capital Equipment Leasing Program before they purchase equipment.

The “guaranteed leasing program,” designed to save tax dollars, is an alternative method of funding capital equipment that is usually financed at taxable rates or funded entirely through a town or school district budget.

Under the MCIA’s program, local governmental entities, including the Morris County government, are able to purchase cars, trucks, fire trucks, school buses, computers and office equipment and other items through the Authority at attractive, tax-exempt rates.

The Improvement Authority issues the bonds, which are guaranteed by the county. This enables the participants to take advantage of the county’s Triple-A bond rating to obtain the lowest possible interest rate and realize direct budget relief.

More information about the Pooled Capital Equipment Leasing Program may be obtained by contacting the Morris County Improvement Authority at 973-285-6020, or by visiting the authority’s Web site, www.morriscountyimprovementauthority.org.

The Morris County Improvement Authority was established by the freeholders in 2002 to give towns and school boards an innovative method of funding needed public projects and saving tax dollars.

Since then, it is estimated nearly $10 million in tax savings has been realized for the entities that have used the authority, including the communities of Butler, Denville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Morristown and the County of Morris as well as the Boonton, Chester Township, Denville, Jefferson, Morris Hills Regional, Mount Olive, Parsippany, Roxbury and Washington Township school districts.

Morris County Improvement Authority is Online

The Morris County Improvement Authority has launched a Web site designed to make it easier for county residents to learn about the authority and how the agency is able to help towns and school districts fund critical projects while saving money for taxpayers.

The Web site, www.morriscountyimprovementauthority.org, contains information ranging from the benefits of using the MCIA to success stories from entities that have saved money by having the authority finance their projects.

Under state law, improvement authorities have more flexibility in financing and issuing bonds.

“Since the improvement authority was established in 2002, it is estimated that $9.7 million in tax savings has been realized for the entities that have used it,” said Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino. “The new Web site will show other towns and school districts how simple it is to use the authority to finance critical construction projects and lease or purchase capital equipment and save tax dollars at the same time.”

Entities that have successfully used the MCIA include the communities of Butler, Denville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Morristown, Roxbury, Brick Township and the County of Morris as well as the Educational Services Commission and the Boonton, Chester Township, Denville, Jefferson, Morris Hills Regional, Mount Olive, Parsippany, Roxbury and Washington Township school districts.

The improvement authority’s Web site was designed by the Morris Internet Group of Parsippany.

The Web site may also be accessed from the official Morris County government site, www.co.morris.nj.us.

Denville, Others Save Taxpayers $500,000 by Using Improvement Authority

Denville, the Educational Services Commission of Morris County and Brick Township in Ocean County will save taxpayers more than half a million dollars by financing essential projects through the Morris County Improvement Authority.

The transactions, approved June 8 by the Local Finance Board in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, use Morris County’s Aaa rating to guarantee the bonds used to finance the projects, enabling all participants to benefit by achieving the lowest possible interest cost.

Denville will save its taxpayers an estimated $200,000 by utilizing the Improvement Authority to borrow $13.4 million, most of which will be used to help finance the renovation of the township’s municipal building. Denville Mayor Gene F. Feyl said the transaction also includes the purchase of capital equipment and the rolling over of existing short term debt.

“The Morris County Improvement Authority is the perfect example of what county and local government can do to share services and reduce costs,” Feyl said. “The Morris County Freeholders are absolutely on the right course by developing innovative programs that reduce costs and help municipalities deliver the services expected by their residents.”

By using the Improvement Authority to borrow $1.7 million for vans and school buses, the Educational Services Commission will save an estimated $300,000.

The ESC, which provides a variety of services to schools in Morris County including transportation and special education programs, recently saved more than $1 million when it financed $5.5 million worth of improvements to its facilities through the Improvement Authority, according to Angelo Vilardi, superintendent of the commission.

Brick Township, the first out-of-county town to use the MCIA, is borrowing almost $4 million to finance public works and other capital equipment and will save an estimated $30,000.

Under state law, improvement authorities have more flexibility in financing and issuing bonds.

“Using the Improvement Authority can be a win-win situation for any local government or school district planning a construction project or purchasing or leasing equipment or vehicles,” said Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino. “Vital needs are met and tax dollars are saved.”

The Improvement Authority was established in 2002 by the Morris County Freeholders to give towns and school boards an innovative method of funding public projects and saving tax dollars at the same time.

Since then, it is estimated a total of $9.7 million in tax savings has been realized for the entities that have used the authority to finance critical projects or refinance their pension debts.

Those entities include the communities of Butler, Denville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Morristown and the County of Morris as well as the Boonton, Chester Township, Denville, Jefferson, Morris Hills Regional, Mount Olive, Parsippany, Roxbury and Washington Township school districts.