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12/5/2012

County holds line on all property taxes, approves budget for 2013-2014

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Mary Keltz, Public Information Outreach
Phone: (360) 397-6012 ext. 4
mary.keltz@clark.wa.gov

Vancouver, WA – The Board of County Commissioners today approved a balanced budget for 2013 and 2014 following public hearings that began Monday, as required by law.

Commissioners Marc Boldt and Tom Mielke voted to adopt recommendations from County Administrator Bill Barron and Budget Director Jim Dickman to control spending and maintain staffing at current levels for the next two years. Commissioner Steve Stuart was in Olympia on business.

The Board’s action will balance the budget without an increase in any of the county’s property tax levies on existing homes and facilities.

Boldt commended Barron and Dickman for proposing a balanced budget “that we can trust and is very important for the citizens of Clark County.” However, he also said he is deeply concerned about fiscal challenges at the national level, which could create hardships at the local level.

Barron said the county’s financial position has improved slightly over the last two years despite continuing weakness in the local economy. All county departments have cooperated and collaborated on a rigorous examination of county practices and procedures to stem increases in operating expenses, he said.

“The employees are the key,” Barron said. “It is they who have indeed kept our budget balanced.”

The two-year budget totals $848.3 million from all sources and will employ more than 1,600 people, making the county the fourth largest local employer.

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