Nevada County supervisors hear possible repercussions of ACA changes on budget | SierraSun.com

Nevada County supervisors hear possible repercussions of ACA changes on budget

A quickly changing legislative environment in Washington, D.C., could potentially affect Nevada County's financial future, local officials said at a Tuesday, June 6, budget hearing.

However, county officials were quick to say that they will continue applying for grants and other federal funds, noting that money is in place through Sept. 30.

"We'll apply as usual for (community development block grants)," said Martin Polt, the county's chief financial officer.

Those grants have helped fund projects like the Bost House, an alcohol and drug treatment facility.

Polt, who on June 6 delivered a budget presentation to the Board of Supervisors, noted that possible changes to the Affordable Care Act could impact the county budget. An anticipated recession, expected around 2019, could also play a role.

According to Polt, recessions come in cycles. The next one is due within a few years.

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"There will be a recession and we will expect them to drop over the next few years," said Polt of taxes that come from land transfers.

Pivoting to cannabis, Polt said the county likely will receive no dollars from the state for the enforcement and regulation of marijuana. CEO Rick Haffey said he wants local fines and fees to pay the costs the county is expecting from the legalization of recreational marijuana.

The county currently is developing recommendations for a permanent grow ordinance. State officials have said cultivation licenses will become available in January.

Supervisors on June 6 made no final decision on the fiscal year 2017-18 budget, only hearing the presentation. They'll vote June 20 on approving the spending plan.

The budget calls for expenditures of $229,371,029 and revenues of $220,313,498, leaving a shortfall of about $9 million. Significant one-time expenses, like upgrades to the McCourtney Road Transfer Station, are one reason for the budget hole.

The county will fill the gap from different sources, including its own fund balance and roads fund.