County Officials Revise Next Year’s Financial Forecast
Author: Administrative Office
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 10:05 AM
County officials have revised the outlook for the coming fiscal year after discovering a miscalculation in the financial forecast reported on Oct. 10.
The County now estimates a $2.8 million to $4.8 million deficit in FY 2018-19, rather than the original estimate of a $3 million to $5 million surplus. However, officials say that the County’s historical attention to fiscal responsibility has positioned it to better address such budgetary gaps. The miscalculation does not impact the budget for the current year.
The County Administrative Office will present a revised forecast to the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 7.
“As we began preparations for the next budget cycle, we discovered that a significant portion of recently approved salary increases were inadvertently omitted in the calculations for the financial forecast reported earlier this month,” said County Budget Director Emily Jackson. “This is understandably disappointing and our office accepts full responsibility for the mistake. Plans are already in place to ensure that this type of error doesn’t happen again.”
The County Administrative Office presents the financial forecast annually at the start of the budget cycle for the following fiscal year, which begins on July 1. After the error was found, budget and accounting staff closely reexamined all calculations and assumptions used in the development of the financial forecast report.
“While this gap will impact the budget for the coming fiscal year, the projected shortfall represents less than 1 percent of the forecasted total General Fund budget,” Jackson said. “But because of our careful approach to growing the County’s budget over the past several years, we are well positioned to address the gap in the coming year.”
Each year, the Board of Supervisors reviews the County’s budget balancing strategies and approaches. This year, the discussion on Nov. 7 will serve as a guide to closing the projected gap in the coming fiscal year.
The County methodically increased its budget as it moved out of the recent economic downturn. In doing so, it expanded public programs and services and funded several major capital projects, while adding more than $70 million to reserves, increasing its General Fund contingency from 4 percent back to its 5 percent target, and bringing employee wages closer to market.
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