The County's financial forecast marks the first step in the County's public budgeting process.
The County's financial forecast marks the first step in the County's public budgeting process.

Financial Outlook Still Positive as Growth Slows

Author: County Administrative Office
Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 3:37 PM

The County's financial forecast looks positive, but officials on Tuesday said that growth is slowing.


Update on Oct. 24, 2017: County officials have revised the outlook for the coming fiscal year after discovering a miscalculation in the financial forecast reported on Oct. 10.

While the County of San Luis Obispo’s financial forecast looks positive, County officials say that the growth the County’s budget has seen is recent years is slowing, due in part to the planned closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

“We may not be able to expand public services as much as some may want or expect in the next fiscal year. Overall, the fiscal outlook is still good, but the growth we have experienced in recent years is slowing,” said County Budget Director Emily Jackson.

On Tuesday, the County Administrative Office presented the Board of Supervisors with the fiscal year (FY) 2018-19 Financial Forecast, which marks the first step in the County’s budgeting process. This report analyzes economic data and trends to provide a detailed estimate of the fiscal outlook for the next budget cycle.

County officials expect $3 million to $5 million in discretionary revenue in FY 2018-19. General Fund revenue is forecasted at $516 million, assuming a 6.7% increase in the County’s property tax revenue due to increasing home values. Expenses are forecasted at $512.8 million and include costs for previously negotiated salary and benefit increases, a 1.5% pension rate increase, $2 million of expense for the County’s management of groundwater basins, increased cost for capital and maintenance projects, and a 5% contingency to serve as a buffer in next year’s budget, per Board policy. 

The preparation of the report lays the groundwork for the budget development process by identifying the fiscal capacity of the County’s General Fund for the coming year. The report is intended to guide the Board of Supervisors in setting priorities and contributes to the County’s goals of creating a well-governed and prosperous community.

Development of the financial forecast is led by the County Administrative Office with input from other departments as needed. The next step in budget development for the coming year will be the Board’s consideration of its goals, policies and priorities on November 7.

View the entire report and attachments for this agenda item