Revenue is up, but so are costs in Placer County
Placer County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously voted on June 13 to approve a draft $796.5 million budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year, but it’s a $19.3 million decrease from the prior year.
“While it is true that some revenue sources are increasing, such as a bump in transient occupancy tax over last year, the county’s operational costs are rising at an even faster rate,” said Chairwoman and District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery in a statement.
Concerns include the rising cost of fire services as well as employee pension and benefit obligations, according to the statement.
“We’re seeing an essentially flat budget, but higher costs, and therefore services could start getting squeezed,” she said. “So, it’s important that we recognize this is going to be a challenge in the future, and we should be mindful about planning for that.”
Placer County, not unlike other local governments throughout the state, will be forced to increase pension contributions in 2018.
The increase is part of a ripple effect after the California Public Employees’ Retirement System Board of Administration took action in December to decrease its own investment to 7 percent from 7.5 percent.
In addition to rising employee pension and benefit costs, the county’s budget is also smaller this year because of the amount of money currently tied up in major infrastructure projects, including the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project.
Amanda Rhoades is a news, environment and business reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2653. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @akrhoades.