recessionary economy, with declines in sales tax revenue, new construction
and consumer confidence, has dramatically changed the County’s fiscal
landscape, resulting in a $2.8 million (or 12.2%) decline in projected sales
tax revenues and over $1.5 million in other revenues. The budget eliminates
funding for 12.16 positions, including 2.66 Sheriff Deputies.
In addition, the budget decreased funding to outside agencies such as
the Humane Society, the Historical Society, and the County’s Health
District that rely on the County’s partial support of their programs. The
Board also authorized the use almost $1.5 million in reserves as an anti-recessionary
measure to balance the general fund budget shortfall and to supplement the
Department of Community Development’s shortfall in building permit
revenue. The General Fund’s
estimated fund balance remains above the reserve policy of 7.5% of revenue.
Finally, the Board limited cost of living increases to 2% for
non-represented County employees and elected officials, as the County
continues to work with the bargaining units on similar limitations.
preliminary budget will be deliberated in a public hearing scheduled for 7
pm, December 1, 2009, in Port Orchard.
preliminary budget is balanced through a mixture of measures - some that
control ongoing costs, such as lowered employee wages, and, to avoid deeper
cuts to vital services, others that are anti-recessionary in nature and as
such, generate one-time only savings.
steps we took in 2008 to live within our means put the county in a much
better position going into 2009, despite the economic uncertainty,” Kitsap
County Board of Commissioner Josh Brown said.
Chair Steve Bauer noted that the budget does a good job of dealing with the
impacts of the recession. He
noted that this budget is also a good start at dealing with the longer term
issue of the limited growth in property taxes which is the largest revenue
source for the General Fund.
success in balancing the budget would not have been possible without
everyone at the county - elected officials, employees, our unions,
department heads - stepping up to the plate and working together to save
taxpayer dollars, and I thank them all,” South Kitsap Commissioner Jan
full copy of the preliminary report can be found on the
website at http://www.kitsapgov.com/das/