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Beefed-up tax revenue bolsters Placer County budget

Proposed $940M budget counts on higher sales, property tax infusions
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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With a positive revenue forecast, Placer County is moving into its next annual funding cycle in July with plans to spend $940 million.

While changes are expected between now and September, when a final budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year is to be adopted, the Board of Supervisors was told Tuesday by staff that the spending plan going forward would be balanced between expenditures and revenues.

Supervisors unanimously adopted the proposed budget at Tuesday’s meeting.

Last September, supervisors approved a final budget of $866 million, which was up $50 million from the year before. The current proposed budget is an increase of $73.4 million over the 2017-18 final budget.

“The proposed 2018-19 spending plan is balancing continuing improvement in our economy with a need to be fiscally sustainable moving forward,” Deputy County Executive Officer Kate Sampson said.

Supervisors were told of anticipated revenue increases of $9.7 million in property taxes, $2.2 million in sales tax and $1 million in hotel bed taxes.

According to a report presented Tuesday to the Board of Supervisors, assessed values of real estate have exceeded peak levels achieved before the housing market collapse a decade ago and are expected to grow 3 to 5 percent for the next several years.

Also Tuesday, supervisors heard a report on the county’s housing work plan to address affordability issues. The report comes days after a grand jury said Placer County efforts fell short in several areas, including collecting in-lieu fees from developers given the option of paying the fee instead of building affordable housing on their properties.

According to a report from the county, since the plan was approved in August, Placer is nearing completion before the end of this year on tasks addressing all the grand jury recommendations.

“I want to encourage all of us to keep our focus on this like a laser,” District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery said. “We want to do this right and we are doing it right. This is an incredible opportunity to continue this great work.”