By Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors held public budget hearings for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014-15, the budget for July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015.
“The budget is how we prioritize what it is that we want our government to do for the people,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer said. “I am proud that we have a balanced, responsible budget to serve the public.”
The County budget for FY 2014-15 is $5.42 billion while the budget for FY 2013-14 is $5.36 billion. That represents a $60 million increase over the prior year, or about a 1% increase. County revenues are projected to grow by 2% and reflect moderate economic growth levels projected by economists.
The County has 17,719 budgeted positions for FY 2014-15, which is an increase of 91 positions (0.5%) over FY 2013-14.
For FY-2014-15, the State has shortchanged Orange County $6.9 million in AB 109 monies. This $6.9 million is split between the Sheriff, Probation, the Health Care Agency, the District Attorney, the Public Defender, and city police departments. AB 109 is a state law that transfers criminals from State prison to county jails. The State is supposed to reimburse counties for this expense, and county taxpayers are forced to pay for the shortfall when the State doesn’t cover what they promised in AB 109.
In the FY 2014-15 budget, the County will make a $5 million payment to the State, the first of five payments required to pay back the Vehicle License Fee Adjustment Amount (VLFAA) monies owed to the State.
The debt payments in the budget have Orange County scheduled to pay off the remainder of the debt from the 1995 bankruptcy by July 1, 2017.
The County budget staff will bring the FY 2014-15 budget back for a final vote by the Board of Supervisors on June 24, and the budget will take effect on July 1.
The County budget and related documents are available online at http://ocgov.com/gov/ceo/deputy/finance/budget.