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Auburn Sentinel

Final county budget approved

Jun 25, 2021 12:00AM ● By Placer County News Release

“I applaud our county predecessors for their decisions to create fiscal sustainability for our taxpayers, employees and our future”

AUBURN, CA (MPG) - The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a balanced budget of $1,024,477,507 for the next fiscal year - 0.4% increase from last year’s final budget of $1,020,071,376.

The budget recognizes future obligations, protects the county from potentially foreseeable impacts and maintains critical services for Placer’s communities.

“The total budget is a win for Placer County residents,” said Placer County Board of Supervisors Chair and District 2 Supervisor Robert Weygandt. “Our county, like many others, weathered a pandemic, and now is recovering from a challenging 16 months. I’m proud of the forethought of our fiscal responsibility to ensure critical county services remain uninterrupted.”

The county’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. The approved budget will serve as the new spending plan when the next fiscal year begins July 1.

The approved budget is balanced with new-year revenue, upward growth in countywide assessed valuation, a 4.5% increase in property taxes in the unincorporated areas of the county as well as modest sales-tax-driven revenue increases.

“At this point, a year ago, we were discussing potential losses due to the COVID-19 public health emergency,” said Placer County Finance and Budget Operations Manager Daniel Chatigny. “While sales taxes declined in specific industries such as travel, tourism and restaurants, the county’s internet sales tax revenue had a 46.1% increase in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same time in 2019.”

The fourth quarter sales tax increase was due in part to how states can require sales tax to be collected on online sales as well as an increase in online shopping during business closures.

Chatigny also noted increases in some categories such as home improvement stabilized the county’s sales tax revenue. The county budget also includes a 10% reserve, an increase of 5% over last year to ensure all current and future obligations are met and unanticipated costs are covered.

“I applaud our county predecessors for their decisions to create fiscal sustainability for our taxpayers, employees and our future,” said Board Vice-Chair and District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “This budget is a great example of the care and responsibility we all take to make sure Placer remains fiscally strong during times of uncertainty.”

“It’s important for our residents to know public safety services in Placer County continue to be well funded,” said District 1 Supervisor Bonnie Gore. “The recommended public safety operations budget is $223.5 million, an increase of $7.2 million from the 2020-21 fiscal year budget.”

“Placer County’s fiscal health remains strong after a historic global pandemic and economic uncertainty,” said District 3 Supervisor Jim Holmes. “I am very proud to support our balanced budget and the county’s ability to meet our fiscal responsibilities while preparing for the future.”

Major countywide five-year capital improvement projects identified in the budget include construction of the Placer County Government Center Health and Human Services building in North Auburn, jail housing units in south Placer, the Auburn jail retrofit project, Tahoe Justice Center, and the potential crime lab partnership with the evolving CSU-Placer Center campus.

“As a new supervisor this was my first budget, and though the task was daunting I’m pleased to say that the level of expertise shown to me by staff was exceptional,” said District 4 Supervisor Suzanne Jones. “There is a commitment to accountability and fiscal responsibility with the taxpayer’s money that runs through this organization from the bottom to the top. The residents of Placer County should be very proud of the result.”

“Placer County is one of the most financially sound organizations you are going to find in the state,” said Placer County Executive Officer Todd Leopold. “That’s why we are able to make major contributions during the downturn and give grant assistance to our business community during the pandemic. These efforts were made possible because of responsible budgeting through the years, a tradition we intend to uphold in the years ahead.”