Washoe County Commissioners to Hold Final Public Hearing on 2011-12 Budget Next Week

Washoe County Commissioners are scheduled to hold the final public hearing on the recommended 2011-12 general fund budget on Monday, May 16th at 10 a.m. in the Commission Chambers. The hearing will also be televised live on The Washoe Channel, TV-217 and webstreamed live via the County’s website at www.washoecounty.us

During its regular meeting on May 10, 2011, Washoe County Commissioners accepted County Manager Katy Simon’s recommended budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year. The recommended budget of $311 million general fund budget addresses a $31.3 million deficit projected for the 2011-12 fiscal year due primarily to a continued decline in property values and, thus, property tax revenues, projected to be 7% lower than the 2010-11 year. Sales tax revenues are projected to increase only about 1% for the next fiscal year, and increased contractual expenses.

While the Board accepted the recommended 2011-12 budget, it also acknowledged that it does not reflect any impact the 2011 Legislative Session may have on the budget in keeping with existing State law. By statute, the County’s budget can be amended after it is filed by June 1st to reflect any impacts.

Washoe County has reduced its budgets over the past four years by $123 million, and staff has been reduced by 16% (725 positions). Spending levels are now at 2005 levels, with staffing at 2004 or earlier levels. If the County Manager’s recommended budget is ultimately approved by the Board later this month, it would mean that the County has reduced its budget over the past five years by a total of 769 positions and more than $154 million, with the recommended General Fund spending budget for 2011-2012 some 21% less than 2007-08. Employees have foregone cost-of-living raises since 2007 and have given back voluntary wage and benefit concessions that totaled more than $9 million this year alone. Employees have already agreed to shoulder more of their health care costs in 2011-12 which helped reduce the original $33.5 million projected deficit to $31.3 million, reflected in reducing the amount of labor costs savings needed.

The recommended budget for the 2011-11 fiscal year is available online, visiting: www.washoecounty.us/repository/files/29/20110510_23.pdf

In addition, individual budget presentations can be viewed, by visiting: www.washoecounty.us/finance/FY12presentations.html

Monday, May 16, 2011: 10:00am
Washoe County Commission Chambers