Tulare County Adopts Balanced Budget

September 21, 2010

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved a $947.8 million balanced spending plan recommended by County Administrative Officer Jean Rousseau for Fiscal Year 2010-11. View Recommended Budget Presentation.

“Tulare County’s balanced budget is the result of being fiscally conservative,” said Steve Worthley, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “Tulare County will continue its practice of spending within our means.”

Chairman Worthley said he is proud of the County’s efforts to pass a balanced budget in spite of tough financial times.

Although the 2010-11 Recommended Budget reflects a $29.6 million increase over last year’s adopted budget, the majority of the increase in funding can be attributed to additional road funds provided by state and federal government, and Measure R, a half-cent sales tax Tulare County’s voters approved in 2006.

Entering the budget process, Tulare County faced a $9.1 million General Fund budget deficit. County Administrative Officer Jean Rousseau said $6.1 million in across-the-board spending cuts by county department heads, utilizing $2 million in reserves, and $1 million in workers compensation reserves were used to close the deficit.

Chairman Worthley said the General Fund deficit is smaller than other counties who are also facing tough financial times. For example:

- Merced County’s budget deficit reached as high as $24.5 million.
- Monterey County’s budget deficit reached as high as $27 million.
- Stanislaus County’s budget deficit reached as high as $40 million.

Chairman Worthley said he was particularly pleased with the high level of achievement from County staff during the last year. Highlights from County staff included:

- Completion of phases of Road 80, Road 108 and Betty Drive.
- Completion of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Installations in offices countywide.
- Establishing a healthcare self insurance Joint Powers Agreement with Fresno County which generated no increase in premiums.

“I am proud of our County staff and employees who are being innovative while continuing to provide an excellent level of customer service,” Chairman Worthley said. “I look forward to what our employees will achieve in the years to come.”

Some of the goals of county staff for the next year include:

- Administering a $2 million Disadvantaged Community Water Study.
- Expanding the parking lot surrounding the Tulare County Superior Courthouse.
- Upgrading various county libraries.

The Board of Supervisors is responsible for reviewing and approving budgets for all County operating funds, internal service and enterprise funds, County Service Areas and dependent special districts. The Board also sits as the Redevelopment Agency and is responsible for those budgets. The State Controller issues guidelines for the organization and presentation of county budgets so that are standardized among all counties.