Emerald green hills on the way to Cambria. Photo by Giovanna Woods
Emerald green hills on the way to Cambria. Photo by Giovanna Woods.

Report: County Predicts up to $5 million Budget Gap in 2020-21

Author: Administrative Office
Date: 10/22/2019 10:27:18 AM

County officials expect the next fiscal year’s expenses to outpace incoming revenue by up to $5 million.

County of San Luis Obispo officials expect next fiscal year’s General Fund expenses to outpace incoming revenue by up to $5 million, based on current numbers and information.

The County’s fiscal year 2020-21 financial forecast was presented to the Board of Supervisors at a public meeting in San Luis Obispo on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

“We are required to have a balanced budget, and we start by trying to predict what might happen in the future based on what we know today,” said County Budget Director Emily Jackson. “We also want our local communities to be aware of the challenges we might face.”

The financial forecast lays the groundwork for the County’s public budgeting process for the coming year. To develop the forecast, staff assumes that the County will continue current programs and services, with no increases in the current fiscal year or next fiscal year. The forecast also assumes that the State will provide revenue for programs and services it requires the County to provide. Slowed revenue growth was also factored in as a result an economy that is not expanding as rapidly as in prior years, Jackson reported on Tuesday.

Every year, the County develops a budget document that demonstrates how County government operates and produces results for the community it serves. As in prior years, County departments were asked earlier this month to begin strategic planning for next year’s budget.

The next opportunity for the public to get involved in the County’s budget process will take place on Nov. 5, when the County Administrative Office will guide the Board in setting priorities, budget goals and policies, and provide a financial outlook for future years. After that, departments will identify the amount of revenue, expenditures and staffing levels needed to meet the goals and performance objectives they identified in the strategic planning phase. 

To get involved, or to learn more about the County’s spending plans, attend the Nov. 5 Board of Supervisors meeting or visit www.slocounty.ca.gov/budget.