For Immediate ReleaseApril 23, 2020
Annual spring hearings canceled, but essential planning must move forward
San Rafael, CA – On April 28, staff from the Marin County Administrator’s Office will provide an updated budget outlook in advance of the June budget presentation. As is expected nationwide, the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are projected to cause significant budgetary shortfalls beginning next year, though the full extent will not be known until later this summer.
The County’s central focus is to respond to the unprecedented public health emergency. Nonetheless, unlike the federal government, the County must adopt a balanced budget in June. Social distancing measures are impacting the County’s revenue sources, including allocations of statewide sales taxes that provide funding for mandated health and safety functions.
The revised budget projection includes a General Fund shortfall of $7 million to $11 million for 2020-21 without an infusion of federal stimulus funds.
The Governor’s May Budget Revision will be a key factor in Marin’s plans as it may include distributions of federal stimulus dollars to county governments. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act distributed $150 billion to state and large local governments, with California receiving $15.3 billion. But jurisdictions with fewer than 500,000 people, like Marin, have thus far not received any of that funding. County staff is working with state and federal delegations and the California State Association of Counties to pursue allocations of some of the funds to Marin and other smaller counties.
“We are proposing a rollover budget this June and will revise our long-term projections in the fall,” Budget Manager Bret Uppendahl said. “The allocation of federal stimulus funds will be necessary for us to maintain vital community services next year.”
In June 2019, the Board approved a $474 million General Fund budget and $631 million all-funds budget for 2019-2020. The Board’s top community priorities include improving emergency preparedness, investing in County infrastructure, addressing climate change, preserving affordable housing and prioritizing racial equity.
The Board is holding fully electronic meetings to assure compliance with shelter-in-place orders and social distancing requirements. The Supervisors log in via videoconferencing software and actively encourage remote public participation via email and new online options. Board meetings are shown live on Facebook and streamed live on the County website, and the broadcasts are archived on both platforms for later viewing. Information on how to participate is available on the County website. For Comcast TV subscribers, the meetings generally are shown live and in reruns on Channel 27 through partnerships with the Community Media Center of Marin and Novato Community Television.
Learn more about the County’s budget overview webpage, where residents can view past documents and interactive charts and graphs through the budget dashboard. Budget feedback may be emailed to the County budget staff.
Bret UppendahlBudget ManagerCounty Administrator's Office
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite #325San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6358Email: Bret UppendahlCounty Administrator website