El Dorado County supervisors approve $1 billion budget

Submitted to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a $1 billion spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

The total recommended budget for all governmental funds for fiscal year 2023-24 is $1.01 billion, which is $25.7 million, or 3%, more than last year’s budget of $986.8 million. 

These totals reflect all governmental funds, including special revenue funds and excludes special districts and proprietary funds.

Total general fund appropriations are recommended at $420.2 million, which is $14.9 million (3%) less than last year’s adopted budget of $435.2 million approved by the board in September 2022.

The budget is balanced, meets state requirements, and fully funds the general fund contingency ($11.25 million) and general reserves ($11.5 million). In addition, it exceeds the board’s policy goal of contributing $5 million of discretionary revenues to road maintenance by $4.4 million through the board-directed use of tribe funding, for a total contribution to road maintenance and snow removal services of $9.4 million. 

This is separate from the voter approved Tahoe Transient Occupancy Tax Measure S.

“Due to the board’s adherence to fiscal and budget policies developed over the past six years, the recommended budget is able to fund your board priorities and current service levels in the fiscal year with projected slowing of discretionary revenue growth,” said Interim Chief Administrative Officer Tiffany Schmid. “The recommended budget meets all board budget policy goals with the exception of the designations for capital projects, and the newly established information technologies infrastructure, and disaster expenses goals. The chief administrative office will prioritize meeting these budget policy goals in the adopted budget if additional discretionary revenue is identified after the close of the financial records for fiscal year 2022-23.”

While the county has done an outstanding job in increasing reserves and designations, Schmid cautioned that those funds are not sufficient to meet all current demands related to the deferred maintenance and replacement costs of county buildings, road maintenance, CalPERS liabilities, and employee compensation to recruit and retain employees, and it is imperative that the board maintain its practice of fiscal conservancy. 

Based on current inflation trends, Schmid noted the board should anticipate that most, if not all, of the estimated costs for capital replacement, deferred maintenance, and road maintenance will continue to see substantial increases. In addition, day-to-day operational cost increases, such as fuel costs, may have a higher-than-anticipated impact on the budgets of individual departments.

Based on prior board direction the recommended budget includes the following priorities:

• Allocates $55.5 million to the Accumulative Capital Outlay Workplan for facility improvements.

• Allocates $3.2 million for the sheriff’s helicopter program, including $800,000 in ongoing operational costs, funded by $400,000 from transient occupancy tax revenue and $400,000 from the general fund.

• Allocates $7 million for Diamond Springs Community Park, Chili Bar Park, and other park projects.

• Allocates $1 million of TOT to local fire districts.

• Sets aside an additional $4.25 million in contingency to address future, unknown cost increases relative to inflation, economic uncertainty, and disaster response costs.

• Allocates $28.42 million in federal revenue and expenditures to continue construction of the Mosquito Bridge.

• Allocates $20 million in state and federal revenue to be used to help address and prevent homelessness in El Dorado County.

Following the close of the FY 2022-23 financial records, the board will formally adopt the budget in September.

Source: El Dorado County

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