Solano County Board of Supervisors to...

Solano County Board of Supervisors to review budget

Posted in the Vallejo Forum


Vallejo, CA

#1 Feb 17, 2013
Solano County Board of Supervisors to review budget

Halfway through the fiscal year it looks like Solano County's structural deficit is shrinking.

While one-time funds have closed the gap between expenses and revenues, that gap will once again expand "significantly" after this fiscal year if more reductions aren't made.

The Solano County Board of Supervisors will discuss the fiscal year 2012-13 budget midyear review Tuesday.

Included in the review for this year are principles designed to help address the deficit in 2013-14.

Those principles include basing the budget with no adjustments to salaries for employees, which would mean no cost of living adjustments; an assumption that the county pays for increased costs for retirement employer rates; and departments will prepare "status quo budgets" -- no increase from the fiscal year 2012-13 budget.

The 2012-13 midyear projections for the general fund expenditures are $188.6 million and $183.8 million for general fund revenues, which creates a deficit of $4.8 million. At the start of the fiscal year that deficit was projected to be as much as $19.2 million.

What helps cover the gap this time, according to staff, are several cost cutting measures and one-time funds from the dissolution of Redevelopment Agencies.

However, the county will not have those funds to help address the continued structural deficit the following fiscal years.

"The county will need to continue to use the six existing budget reduction strategies to address the ongoing operational deficit for the general fund," staff said.

Those strategies are the elimination or freezing of all vacant positions and only fill positions that are "mission critical" to the organization, continue to review all discretionary and mandatory programs, continue to seek additional employee concessions, in addition to the current agreements in place or in progress; continue to reduce general fund contribution to Health & Social Services and Public Safety departments, reducing the level of service to the community, continue reducing the county's footprint in buildings in Fairfield, Vallejo and Vacaville, and move employees out of leased space into county-owned space; consider selling older/outdated county buildings to reduce operational expenses and continue automating the delivery of services so reorganization/downsizing opportunities can continue.

Additionally, the county continues to be exposed to a reduction in secured property taxes, with 835 active tax assessment appeals on file that represent $9.6 billion in assessed value.

To plan for the future, fiscal year 2013-14 and beyond, staff is only forecasting predictable revenues and the existing pattern of expenditures for the general fund. Given this assumption, the operational deficit between revenues and expenditures, "grows significantly in later years" to approximately

$14.6 million in fiscal year 2013-14 and $18.5 million in fiscal year 2014-15.

"It is the intent during this forecast that the county will continue to work with the board confirmed budget reduction strategies to bring expenditures in line with revenues for the general fund," staff said.

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