For Immediate Release                                                                        Contact: Ron Ruff

January 31, 2007                                                                                    (609) 501-0769

 

Levinson Distorts Atlantic County 's 2007 Budget

County Government spending outpaced rate of inflation by nearly 10% under Levinson's watch

 

(Northfield, NJ) – Atlantic County Democratic Party Chairman Ron Ruff declared today that County Executive Dennis Levinson again is making misleading claims about the proposed county budget.

 

"Dennis Levinson is once again twisting the facts and manipulating the figures in an attempt to mislead the residents about the county budget," Ruff said. "But his inaccurate claims cannot disguise the ugly truth: This bloated budget raises taxes and increases spending. And all at a time when Mr. Levinson should be working to slash county government spending, reduce the payroll through early incentive retirement programs, and make the government do more with less - just like our families do each and every day."

 

In a letter published in The Current, Levinson made the following claim: "The budget I presented to the freeholders increased 3.58 percent, less than the rate of inflation…"

 

HOWEVER: The Consumer Price Index, which is used to track inflation, increased just 3.3 percent from December 2005 to December 2006 in the Philadelphia/Wilmington/Atlantic City area (and 2.5% nationwide). In fact, the growth in Atlantic County's spending has consistently outpaced inflation since Levinson became County Executive:

 

·         Atlantic County budgets have grown 32.1% since 2000 while the rate of inflation in the Philadelphia/Wilmington/AC area has increased 22.4% and 19.9% nationwide. (See chart below)

 

"County government spending has spun out of control, and the statistics back it up," said Ruff.  "Yet you don't have to look at stats to figure that out. Ask the hard-working families and seniors struggling to make ends meet, and they will tell you that we need to slash government spending and let families keep more of what they earn.

 

"Mr. Levinson still doesn't realize that taxing middle class working families out of their homes to pay for higher spending is the wrong formula. Just as he finally adopted the Democratic Party's ethics platform earlier this year, he now should embrace our party's proposals to trim the fat from county government and get spending under control."

 

 

Atlantic County Budget

National CPI*

Philly/Wilmington/AC CPI*

 

Year

Total

% Change

Total

% Change

Total

% Change

 

2007

169,005,955

3.6%

201.8

2.5%

211.6

3.3%

 

2006

163,159,941

5.2%

196.8

3.4%

204.9

3.6%

 

2005

155,141,885

4.6%

190.3

3.3%

197.8

4.7%

 

2004

148,306,866

3.0%

184.3

1.9%

189.0

2.0%

 

2003

143,996,090

6.8%

180.9

2.4%

185.3

3.0%

 

2002

134,815,517

3.1%

176.7

1.6%

179.9

1.4%

 

2001

130,705,706

2.1%

174.0

3.4%

177.5

2.7%

 

2000

127,961,944

8.1%

168.3

2.7%

172.9

2.3%

 

*CPI data is from the December of the previous year, for instance in the 2007 column the CPI is from December 2006

 

[CPI Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index - All Urban Consumers US City Average; CPI All Urban Consumers Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, PA-NJ-DE-MD]

 

 

[Atlantic County Budget, 1998-2007]

 

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