Visalia

Tulare County Supervisors greenlight $1.38bil budget

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved a $1.38 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20 on Tuesday. 

Citing a balanced and sustainable budgeting approach, the new budget is a jump by $119.2 million over last year’s budget.

“Tulare County has many needs, and our budget attempts to address those,” Board Chairman Kuyler Crocker said in a release. “Increases in healthcare, retirement, as well as risk insurance give us reason to remain caution while still investing in modern equipment and facilities.

“I’m proud of our hard working employees who make this financial document a reality every day. Not only does this provide transparency for the county in regards to revenues and expenses, but also lists out the goals and objectives for our 22 departments for the 2019-20 fiscal year.” 

Funding allocations in the budget include the following: 

  • General Fund budget increases from $790 million to $844.5 million (7% increase from FY 2018/19)
  • General Fund Unassigned Fund Balance is $46.3 million due to higher than anticipated countywide revenues and unplanned departmental savings
  • Increases Strategic Reserves from $30 million to $32 million
  • Allocates $5.8 million for the Capital Improvement Plan
  • Contains a $5 million contingency fund
  • Allocates $1.5 million from General Fund to purchase equipment for the Fire Department, including Type I and Type III fire engines
  • Commits funding to begin occupancy of the new South County Detention Facility in Porterville
  • Allocates funding to implement new voting requirements and deployment of new voting machines for the March 2020 Primary Election;
  • Funds budgetary retirement costs from $35.7 million to $38.7 million (8% increase over FY 2018/19)
  • Funds Pension Obligation Bond (POB) debt service payment of $18.9 million
  • Total employee compensation increases from $360 million to $375 million (4% increase over FY 2018/19)

County Administrative Officer Jason Britt said the budget reflects the themes of fiscal responsibility while enhancing public safety and security, promoting economic well-being, improving the quality of life and exhibits strong organizational performance. 

“The adopted $1.38 billion budget demonstrates Tulare County’s sound financial position due to the Board’s fiscal policies to maintain feasible and sustainable operations while providing mandated and essential services, funding local programs and projects, meeting capital and infrastructure needs all while maintaining reserves and contingencies,” Britt said in a statement. 

The San Joaquin Valley Sun
Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.