Mercer County NJ wasted millions in taxpayer dollars

New report finds Mercer County paid millions in fines and interest for late tax returns

Mercer County lawmakers express outrage and want to know: Who dropped the ball?

Mercer County spokesperson says taxpayers were ‘disappointed’

Your tax dollars are working hard.

The New Jersey State Comptroller’s Office has released a report revealing that Mercer County paid approximately $4.5 million in fines and interest for delinquent tax returns and payments from 2018 to 2021.

The Democratic-controlled county’s Treasurer regularly failed to make proper and timely payroll tax payments to both the Internal Revenue Service and the New Jersey Department of Internal Revenue, according to the report.

The report comes as longtime county administrator Brian Hughes is splitting Democrats in the state capital after facing an intraparty challenge for seats from Rep. Dan Benson. am.

No oversights, according to the report

An OSC investigation found that Mercer County’s finance department, led by the chief financial officer, lacked basic internal financial controls. There was no organizational chart, written policies, or system of checks and balances to ensure the financial system was well-managed.

D-Mercer State Senator Shirley Turner said she was concerned and alarmed after hearing what had happened.

“I just want to know what took so long. Why do we have to wait three years to find out that the county isn’t paying payroll taxes? It’s very disturbing,” she said. rice field.


Staras Think Stock

State senators want to know ‘who dropped the ball’

“I would like to know where the regulation should be. I know we have not only county administrations, but also county commissions. Where have they been for the last three years?”

Turner noted that all government agencies bring in audit firms to review their finances each year, so it’s important to determine who dropped the ball here.

“I think it’s a very sad situation that this has been going on for three years and we have to pay that much.”

Former New Jersey Labor Commissioner Expresses Shock

New Jersey Congressman Hal Worth, R-Sussex, former state Labor Commissioner, said he was shocked to learn of what had happened.

“This is outrageous and the public should be outraged that the government has failed in so many ways,” he said.

He also said it was hard to imagine the problem lasting 13 quarters.

“It’s incredibly unacceptable. If it was the private sector, they would throw the book at the company,” he said.

Money tree

James Stiddle ThinkStock

The head of finance did not have the required credentials

In the course of its investigation, the State Board of Comptrollers determined that Mercer County’s chief financial officer did not have the qualifications required by law to maintain the position throughout his employment with the county, and that he had not obtained it. I also discovered that I wasn’t trying.

When asked to comment on the report, country spokeswoman Julie Wilmot released a statement that Chief Financial Officer David Miller had been fired.

“This report reveals circumstances and events that the county has thoroughly investigated through special outside counsel,” Wilmot’s statement said.

“The OSC report has warned the government of poor oversight of Mr Miller and the departments he controls, but the report finds nothing to the contrary. The government and the county itself are undisputed victims of the failure to maintain Mr. Miller’s proper qualifications and licenses for his work.The administration and taxpayers have been disappointed in Mr. Miller. We are doing our best to learn from this experience, avoid a recurrence, recover the costs incurred by Mr Miller’s actions, and take steps to hold him accountable.”

David Matthau is a reporter for the New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

Click here to contact the editor for feedback and corrections to this article.

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