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County releases final budget
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Stanislaus County officials have released the budget plan for 2014-15 which reflects a 4.8 percent increase from the previous year.

The adopted proposed budget approved by the Board of Supervisors on June 10, was a rollover budget to provide interim spending authority as the county's multi-year budget strategy was updated.

A public hearing to adopt the budget has been set for 6:35 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 16, to be continued if necessary on Sept. 17 and 18 at 9 a.m. The meeting will take place at 1010 Tenth Street in Modesto in the basement Board Chambers.

The recommended budget totals $1.092 billion in appropriations (authorized spending) which reflects a $49.6 milion (4.8 percent) increase over the FY 2013-14 budget. Spending increases since FY 2013-14 are primarily due to an accelerated pay down of debt and increases in health and social services programs.

"In spite of the challenges we have faced as a county, I take heart in knowing we have a championship caliber team in Stanislaus County that are finding ways to bounce back and overcome the adversity that has come our way," stated Stan Risen, Chief Executive Officer for Stanislaus County. "We remain committed to restoring and maintaining financial strength through sound fiscal policy."

The budget staffing recommendations include 28 additional positions to the allocation count. The recommendations include adding 24 new positions, restoring 11 unfunded positions, defunding two vacant positions, deleting five vacant positions, deleting five unfunded positions, transferring 17 positions between budget units, reclassifying 14 positions, conducting 11 classification studies, and double-filling one Manager IV position up to three months. Three positions will be transferred from the Health Services Agency to the Community Services Agency. The current position allocation count is 3,950. The new recommended position allocation count is 3,978. With the recommended changes, the number of full-time allocated positions will still be 13.6 percent below the high of 4,603 in FY 2007-08.

Discretionary revenue is unrestricted money the county is free to use for things like law enforcement, health care, parks or many other services. Property tax and sales tax are two key components of discretionary revenue. Discretionary revenue is budgeted at $169 million and is up by nearly $13 million from the FY 2013-14 budget.
Property and sales tax are still lagging behind by 8.5 percent from the high of $181.6 million in FY 2007-08.