Riverside County Executive Officer Jeffrey Van Wagenen Jr. presented his midyear review of the fiscal (FY) 2021-22 budget to the board of supervisors at the March 1 meeting.
Through the first six months of the FY, county spending has been consistent with initial projections and no unexpected or major problems have been identified.
Consequently, the board found no need to discuss the item at the meeting.
Van Wagenen described the current budget condition as, “… only at the midpoint of the current fiscal year and the outlook appears stable. We have challenges looming in the coming fiscal years. While we continue to project increased revenues, the growth is rarely enough to keep pace with the cost to maintain the status quo and the need to fund additional programs to serve and support our residents.”
At the beginning of January, projected revenues were about $33 million greater than the amount in the adopted budget. The largest increase was $9 million for sales and use taxes. Other significant increases were $4.5 to $6.6 million in the areas of Prior Year (miscellaneous), Rebates and Refunds, and Documentary Transfer Tax.
The Public Safety Sales Tax estimate is up $24 million, largely due to “… online shopping strength,” according to Van Wagenen’s report.
In the first six months of the fiscal year, the board has had to reduce its contingency funds $3.3 million, from $20 million to $16.7 million.
The largest needed increase was $770,000 to increase Code Enforcement staffing over weekends. This was approved at the Nov. 16, 2021, session.
Another $750,000 was provided for the Asylum Response Program and about $650,000 for the Public Defender Office.
The third quarter review is projected to be in mid-May. A month later, the board will hold hearings on the proposed FY 2022-23 budget.