The Tulare County Board of Supervisors (TCBOS) will be holding a public hearing on the budget during their regular meeting September 13 at 9:00 on the Human Resources & Development Department Innovation Conference Room at 2500 W. Burrel Avenue, Visalia. The public can also attend the meeting by zoom or watch on the county’s board of supervisor’s website.
The 2022/23 fiscal year recommended budget totals $1.82 billion, an increase of $206.6 million, or 12.79%, when compared to the FY 2021/22 Adopted Budget.
Tulare County Administrative Officer, Jason Britt, submitted the following information to the TCBOS.
“It is my pleasure to report that Tulare County is financially stable and well-positioned to face current economic pressures, including the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, historically high inflation, and future uncertainties. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2022/23 Recommended Budget is submitted for your consideration, review, modification, and/or adoption. The prudent fiscal policies of your Board, the use of conservative revenue estimates, and the efforts of an outstanding County management team has contributed to the County’s continuing strong financial position.”
County Budget Highlights
This $1.82 billion budget, submitted to your Board for consideration, demonstrates Tulare County’s sound financial position, and reflects the Board’s policy to maintain feasible and sustainable fiscal operations within all of Tulare County’s Governmental Funds, Internal Service Funds, Special District Funds, Enterprise Funds, Assessment Districts, and County Service Areas.
Some notable budget highlights:
- General Fund budget increases from $949.5 million to $1.1 billion (10.7% increase from FY 2021/22);
- General Fund discretionary revenues increase from $186.9 million to $207.7 million (11.1% increase from FY 2021/22);
- General Fund unassigned fund balance increases from $49.1 million to $68.1 million (38.8% increase from FY 2021/22);
- Strategic Reserve increases from $33 million to $36 million; and
- Maintains General Fund Contingency at $5 million. Budget Message The proposed budget also includes several investments in key County services. These investments will provide funds for future elections, increased retirement costs, building improvements, and other important needs. Some important investments include:
- Transfers $1 million to the Public Agency Retirement Services (PARS) 115 trust to offset future retirement liabilities;
- Transfers $5 million to replenish the Jail Medical Fund;
- Transfers $2 million to the Equipment and Vehicle Replacement Fund; • Transfers $2.5 million to the Natural Resources Fund;
- Transfers $3 million to replenish the Election Trust Fund;
- Transfers $1.5 million to replenish the Conflict Defender Fund;
- Transfers $4 million to the Litigation Trust Fund for future litigation;
- Allocates $7 million for the Capital Improvement Plan (increase of $1 million from FY 2021/22);
- Funds budgetary retirement costs from $45.3 million to $50.7 million (11.9% increase from FY 2021/22);
- Funds Pension Obligation Bond (POB) debt service payment of $19.8 million;
- Allocates $3 million for the SQF Complex Fire abatement and future disasters;
- Allocates $1.4 million for Fire equipment and vehicles;
- Allocates $1.5 million for IT projects;
- Funds total employee compensation increases from $406.3 million to $437.2 million (7.6% increase from FY 2021/22); • Allocates $1 million for drought response; and
- Allocates $1 million for disaster management.
American Rescue Plan Act
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law and authorized $90.6 million dollars in COVID19 relief funds to Tulare County. On August 24, 2021, the Board of Supervisors approved the ARPA Interim Recovery Plan to align with the US Department of Treasury interim rules. In May 2022, the US Department of Treasury released the final rule which included broader eligibility guidelines and acceptable uses of the funds. On July 26, 2022, the Board of Supervisors adopted the ARPA Final Recovery Plan, which aligns the County’s spending with the US Department of Treasury’s final rule. As of June 30, 2022, the County has expended over $28 million of ARPA funds. The FY 2022/23 budget reflects approximately $37 million in ARPA Final Recovery Plan spending