The Douglas County Board of Commissioners Wednesday approved a Fiscal Year 2019-20 county government budget that calls for $164 million in expenditures.

The $164 million figure is up $19 million over the previous year’s budget. Most of the increase is due to capital expenditures in parks, solid waste and public works. Those are primarily funded by state and federal grants and pass-through dollars.

Personnel costs are also up despite the loss of 14.75 positions, including nine from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. Wages and benefits increased for many of the remaining employees. Much of the increased cost is due to increases in public employee retirement system benefits.

The budget will take $9.2 million from the general fund reserves, leaving $41.8 million. Historically, the reserves were filled with federal timber harvest revenue sharing dollars and safety net payments. If those dollars aren’t restored, the county could soon face significant cuts to programs and services. Another possibility that has been floated is the possibility of asking voters to approve a public safety levy to help fund the sheriff’s office.

The money generated from property taxes makes up a relatively small portion of the budget. Property tax revenues are estimated at about $10.1 million for 2019-20. The tax rate will remain the same as the previous year’s at $1.11 per $1,000 of property tax value.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(3) comments

MRFSYS

The total amount due for failing to refund the original $14 Million in business personal property tax overcharges has ballooned to $293,319,459.00 as of July 1, 2019, with the addition of triple damages for racketeering (e.g. mail fraud), triple damages for elder abuse, and accrual of the 9% legal rate of interest authorized by Oregon State laws. The CPA hired by the county to prepare CAFRs is now implicated in aiding and abetting wire fraud, by omitting this liability from the county's CAFR. The commissioners have activated estoppel by choosing to fall silent, rather than to dispute any of the many INVOICEs duly served on them, and none of the commissioners has attempted to deny any of the detailed calculations published on those INVOICEs. BOTTOM LINE: Douglas County is now insolvent because it can't pay its bills.

mynamehere

Up $19 million from last year...just like the homeless population downtown, it goes up, and up and up.

Democrat

It's beyond me why they don't switch person to the save oregon program. Pensions are bankrupting cities and states yet they won't jump off the wagon train.

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