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Marin: Proposed Budget Heads to Supervisors Public hearings on County expenses and priorities scheduled for June 20-22

The proposed budget for 2023-24 is balanced and structurally sound. It maintains current services and makes a few high priority ongoing enhancements to address emerging needs. Most significantly, the proposed budget recommends $49.8 million in one-time allocations funded by $24.4 million from projected current year fund balance and $25.4 million from previously established reserves, special revenue funds, and federal COVID-19 relief funding.

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Compared to last year’s budget, the total County budget of $784 million is an increase of 9% and the General Fund budget of $594 million an increase of 6%.
Compared to last year’s budget, the total County budget of $784 million is an increase of 9% and the General Fund budget of $594 million an increase of 6%

San Rafael, CA – Economic uncertainties linger, but the County Administrator’s Office will present a balanced budget to the Marin County Board of Supervisors at the public hearings on June 20-22.

The proposed budget for 2023-24 is balanced and structurally sound. It maintains current services and makes a few high priority ongoing enhancements to address emerging needs. Most significantly, the proposed budget recommends $49.8 million in one-time allocations funded by $24.4 million from projected current year fund balance and $25.4 million from previously established reserves, special revenue funds, and federal COVID-19 relief funding.

Highlights of significant one-time budget enhancements include:

  • Civic Center/Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium modernization program ($30 million)
  • Employee retention incentives ($5 million)
  • Homeless encampment partnership funds ($2.5 million)
  • Enhanced summer road improvement program ($2 million)
  • Creation of a workforce housing reserve ($2 million)
  • Increase state/federal uncertainty reserve ($1.2 million)

Compared to last year’s budget, the total County proposed budget of $784 million is an increase of 9% and the General Fund budget of $594 million is an increase of 6%.

Three days of informational budget planning sessions were held in March to help inform a proposed budget that reflects the following top priorities:

  • building a racially equitable community
  • investing in County infrastructure
  • preserving and increasing affordable housing choices and addressing homelessness
  • addressing County workforce recruitment and retention
  • reducing carbon emissions and adapting to climate change
  • enhancing disaster preparedness

Budget Director Josh Swedberg said proposed budget for 2023-24 maintains vital County services. “The slowing economy limits our ability to make new ongoing budget enhancements,” he said. “However, the proposed budget makes significant one-time investments while preparing for future uncertainty.”

An additional $3.2 million in new ongoing funding is earmarked for high-priority needs, including implementation of a Sheriff’s Office oversight board as per State Assembly Bill 1185. The proposed budget also provides an increase to the living wage for eligible County workers to $18 per hour, adds job retention incentives for County employees, enhances services to older people, and increases the annual contribution to the capital improvement program by $1 million.

The largest sources of revenue in the budget are taxes (42%) and the state and federal governments (35%). The largest expenditures are for the County workforce’s salaries and benefits (56%) and public services and supplies (35%). Roughly 70% of the County budget is for mandated programs such as public health, public safety, and justice-related services.

The June 20-22 hearings will be aired live and later archived on the County website. The Tuesday session begins at 1:30 p.m. and will feature public comment. Those interested in contributing comments may join online or in the Board chamber at Suite 330, Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael. The hearings continue at 9 a.m. Wednesday, and the final Thursday session starts at 1:30 p.m. A detailed hearings schedule will be uploaded to the Board’s webpage on June 15.

All public meetings and events sponsored or conducted by the County of Marin are held at accessible sites. If you are a person with a disability and require information or materials in alternative formats – or if you require accommodation to participate in a county program, service or activity – please contact department staff by email or at (415) 473-7331 or (415) 473-4381 (voice/TTY).

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