269 County Employees Driving Free Cars with Free Gas
In Monmouth County, N.J., 269 government employees, 22 who paid six-figure salaries, are provided a county-owned car with gas, maintenance and insurance coverage paid for entirely by taxpayer dollars, according to the Asbury Park Press. The cost for taxpayers is about $2,500 per car for a total of $672,500 a year.Many of the cars are given to employees who don’t need them for work, but use them for the commute only, or as a "take-home" car. The number of "take-home" cars had been as many as 362 before that total was reduced in 2004, the report said.Ninety-three take-home cars were eliminated from that number, but some argue that all of the take-home fleet should be re-evaluated. In total, Monmouth County owns and operates 861 county vehicles, of which 424 are passenger cars or SUVs, 116 are pickup trucks, 130 are vans or buses, and 191 are trucks, according to the report.Of the 269 vehicles assigned to employees for commuting, or "take-home" use, the breakdown by department is:Prosecutor's Office: 116 vehiclesDepartment heads: 35Sheriff's Office: 29Highway: 28Parks: 16Health: 12Other departments: 33A total of 47 of the 126 take-home cars outside law enforcement are 2002 models or newer.