4 Things to Know About Next Year’s Recommended Budget
Author: Administrative Office
5/29/2019 9:12:16 AM
The County's recommended budget for FY 2019-20 is balanced at $633.4 million, and the budget document is available for public review.
After months of coordination, community input and hard work, County staff formally introduced the recommended budget for FY 2019-20 to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, May 14.
Here are four important points about the recommendations:
- The recommended budget is balanced. The County is required by law to have a balanced budget. After several years of budget surpluses following the Great Recession, FY 2019-20 is the second consecutive year the County faced a modest budget gap. In October 2018, County staff forecasted a budget gap in the range of $5 million to $10 million, but the gap came in lower than that – at about $2.8 million.
To close the gap, staff used longstanding budget balancing strategies and approaches, including a combination of short- and long-term structure changes. Despite the balanced budget, the scales could tip in the wrong direction in the coming year. Nearly all labor contracts will be open for negotiation in the coming year. At the same time, several things out of the County’s control could affect the County’s expenses and revenues, including mandated State and Federal laws or orders that are unfunded (meaning the County will have to pay to implement the changes).
- The recommended governmental funds spending level is $633.4 million, which is a 0.4% increase above this year’s adopted spending levels. The County’s budget is comprised of more than 25 separate funds that finance a variety of public services. Each of these funds are categorized as either governmental (for general government activities) or proprietary (for activities like those provided by the private sector).
The governmental funds budget is recommended at $633.4 million, most of which is earmarked for specific activities, services and programs. This budget prioritizes short-term and long-term initiatives that reflect the Board’s priorities, including public protection services.
- Next year’s budget depends on how much departments don’t spend this year. The Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office estimated how much money will be unspent at the end of the current year, which represents the fund balance available (FBA) as a funding source for the following year’s budget. Based on this estimate, the recommendation is to budget for $30.1 million in FBA as revenue for FY 2019-20.
If the County ends the year with less FBA, staff will return to the Board with recommendations to balance the budget. If the County ends the year with more FBA than expected, staff will return to the Board with recommendations for the use of those one-time funds.
- A public budget hearing is set for June 10-12 starting at 9 a.m. Every year, the County Board of Supervisors publicly deliberates over the coming year’s budget. During this time, County staff presents key areas of the County’s budget, members of the public are invited share their perspective, and the Board of Supervisors may add, delete, or modify the proposed budget as they deem appropriate.
While staff is responsible for preparing a recommended budget and, the Board of Supervisors ultimately has the authority to adopted funding levels, public participation is welcome.
More information about the County’s recommended budget and the budgeting process can be found online at www.slocounty.ca.gov/budget.
Watch the 40-minute public presentation and Board of Supervisors discussion on the recommended budget: