2018-19 County Proposed Budget
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 08, 2018Board Adopts Budget for 2018-19
Budget committee considers $1.2 billion spending plan
UPDATE: The Budget Committee approved of the Washington County proposed budget after a public hearing on May 17 and the Board of Commissioners adopted the budget on June 19, 2018.
Washington County's proposed $1.2 billion total budget was presented today to the county's Budget Committee, comprised of both appointed residents and elected members of the Board of Commissioners. The spending plan represents a modest increase in discretionary spending in response to the increased demand for countywide services.
"The theme to the proposed budget this year is to make prudent investments within the context of long-term financial planning and stability," said County Administrator Robert Davis. "Within this context, organizational managed growth is reflected in terms of the additional recommended staffing resources and the expanded facilities, systems and other supports that enable their success."
Expenditures anticipated from the county's general fund, the portion of the budget over which the Board of Commissioners has the most discretionary spending authority, would be $280.7 million, a 1 percent increase over last year. Revenues from property and other taxes supporting the general fund increased by 4 percent compared with the 2017-18 fiscal year. This single revenue category supports roughly two-thirds of the county's general fund.
When discretionary resources are combined with remaining funds composing the full budget, the proposed spending plan represents a 3 percent decrease compared to the prior year. The decrease is largely explained by capital projects that are drawing to a close, including the technology improvements to the 9-1-1/emergency communications system and seismic strengthening to some county buildings.
Investments cited in the proposed budget include:
- Supporting Increased Service Demand – Just under 33 new positions are recommended in the proposed budget, adding to staff increases made during the current fiscal year. The new positions address increased service loads for departments including Assessment and Taxation, the Sheriff's Office and Support Services. Additional staff providing mental health and addiction treatment support was transferred to the Department of Health & Human Services from a coordinated care organization during the current fiscal year.
- Affordable Housing – Using a combination of federal, state and nonprofit funding, Washington County would continue investments in affordable housing. Through this process, roughly 280 additional homes are anticipated to be added to the county's existing affordable housing stock.
- Facility Strengthening and Systems Upgrading – Earthquake retrofitting of the Law Enforcement Center concluded in early 2018, two weeks ahead of schedule and $761,000 under budget. Retrofitting and work addressing water inundation issues would be funded throughout the next fiscal year for the Charles D. Cameron Public Services Building, the county's administrative headquarters, with completion anticipated in 2019. Finally, strengthening of the Walnut Street Center in southwestern Hillsboro is scheduled to begin in 2018.
- Transportation Improvements and Maintenance – Close to $16 million in new transportation-related revenue will be used for various countywide capital improvements and road maintenance. Recently passed state transportation legislation is providing $7.5 million for improvements to the county's road system, including bridge and culvert replacement as well as bike and pedestrian projects. Vehicle registration fee revenue of about $8 million will support maintenance to the countywide road system. County officials are hopeful that the new funding, combined with current resources, will improve safety and help maintain county arterials and collectors to county standards, as well as address deferred maintenance into the future.
The next step for the budget process involves a public hearing before the Budget Committee at 8:30 a.m. on May 17th in the Training Rooms at the Law Enforcement Center, 215 SW Adams Avenue, Hillsboro. The public is invited to attend this meeting and make comments at 10:30 a.m.
The Washington County government organization has a mission of providing excellent and cost-effective services that support healthy, peaceful, safe and sustainable communities; and encouraging meaningful participation in community activities and county governance. The organization is comprised of 2,050 full-time equivalent employees.
Media Contact:Philip Bransford, Communications Officer