The fiscal year 2021–22 budget reflects the county’s priorities of public health and safety with approximately 46% of overall spending dedicated to Health & Human Services and the Public Safety Fund.
Placer County’s financial position is strong and its economic indicators anticipate continued growth during this fiscal year. Property tax, the county’s largest discretionary revenue source, is estimated to increase 4.5% in FY 2021–22, continuing an upward trend. Sales taxes, transient occupancy “hotel” taxes and other revenue sources driven by the economy are expected to remain stable. In addition, the county expects to receive $77.4 million from the American Rescue Plan Act and will be working closely with the Board of Supervisors to develop a spending plan in the first quarter of FY 2021–22.
The Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan addresses the county’s facility needs into the near future. Most notably is the allocation of $22.5 million for the initial construction phase of the county’s new Health & Human Services (HHS) building. The HHS facility is included in the recently updated master plan for the Placer County Government Center (PCGC) and will help consolidate existing staff and services from six divisions into a 142,000-square-foot facility in North Auburn. Construction of the $79.8 million building is expected to break ground in early 2022 for a fall 2023 opening. The total project budget of $90.4 million will leverage funds from several sources to minimize financing and rely on in-house management to reduce costs. Additionally, water and sewer infrastructure improvements are underway at PCGC to prepare for the future HHS facility.
To ensure financial resiliency, the county increased its annual contribution to the General Fund Balance this fiscal year. The target had been to maintain a 5% reserve but the Board of Supervisors decided to increase the minimum reserve to 10% moving forward to ensure all current and future obligations are met and unanticipated costs are covered.
The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted in April 2021 to create the Parks & Open Space Department. The newly created department—once a division of Public Works—will focus on expanded park management responsibilities, increased service demands, and improved financial viability of the county’s parks and open space operations. Specifically, the county is in the midst of a Parks and Trails Master Plan Update to provide a roadmap for the development of more than 100 miles of connected trails countywide. The new department will also ensure defensible space is maintained on all county lands to mitigate fire dangers and remain in compliance with the county’s Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance.
The General Fund budget for FY 2021–22 totals approximately $369.6 million. This total represents a 1.7% increase over the previous fiscal year. The increased expenses are balanced by an increase in property tax revenues due to an escalation in Placer County property values.
The County Executive Officer works with departments to develop the budget each year to deliver recommendations for review, discussion, and final approval by the Board of Supervisors. The process is designed to be transparent and encourage the public’s participation.
n early June, the Board of Supervisors holds a public hearing to take input from the community. The public is encouraged to participate in budget workshops and provide comment throughout the process.
In late June, the Board of Supervisors take action to adopt a final budget prior to the start of the fiscal year which begins on July 1. The final budget is published by the County Executive Office and available online at www.placer.ca.gov/budget.