Wednesday, January 13, 2010

County Funding Shrinking Again

In what has become a long, slow unwinding of programs and resources built up over decades, the funding for Sacramento County continues to erode, as this report from the Sacramento Bee notes.

Being close to the bottom of funding priorities, parks and recreation—including the American River Parkway—will clearly suffer some more hits.

Our solution is outlined in several postings on the news page of our website

An excerpt from the Sacramento Bee report.

“Sacramento County will cut another $15 million from its $2 billion general fund budget in the next two months to cover revenue shortfalls and begin repaying money the county borrowed last fiscal year.

“This latest deficit comes after the Board of Supervisors laid off nearly 800 employees last summer. And these new cuts won't be the last.

“Officials are projecting next fiscal year's deficit could top $100 million. "We are still in very difficult economic times, as is the state of California," Sheriff John McGinness said.

“The continuing weakness in the economy means less revenue is coming in than county analysts had projected. Money from the state to pay for social services is down about $1.8 million, said Tom Burkart, the recently named county budget officer.

“Burkart had been filling in on an interim basis following the August retirement of Linda Foster-Hall.

“Property tax revenue appears to be down about $2.3 million from initial projections. Another source of state aid is down about $3.2 million.

“Money from document filings is down $2 million, and revenue from the hotel tax is down $500,000.

“In all, general fund revenue is down about $10 million this fiscal year from initial projections, Burkart said.

“County officials also are recommending the supervisors begin addressing the county's past reliance on reserves and other one-time funding fixes by making another $5.3 million in cuts.

“In the past 12 months, the county transferred close to $60 million to the general fund from other internal funds. By law, the county must repay those funds and is scheduled to pay back $11.9 million in fiscal year 2010-11.

“The county balanced this year's budget with more than $23 million in one-time money.”