County manager recommends no frills budget that recognizes limited resources
Public hearings scheduled for first week in December
Vancouver, Wash. – County Manager Shawn Henessee is recommending a budget for 2019 to the county council that focuses on protecting critical and mandated functions while preserving adequate reserves.
“This is a fiscally conservative budget recommendation,” said Shawn. “I’m recommending approval of very few of the general fund requests from departments due to a lack of available resources.”
The county council will consider the $532 million budget during a public hearing beginning at 2 pm Monday, Dec. 3. The county’s other elected officials will be first to testify on budgets proposed by their departments.
Anyone interested may testify when the hearing continues at 6 pm Tuesday, Dec. 4. Both sessions will be in the sixth-floor hearing room in the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St. If needed, public testimony will be continued to 10 am Wednesday, Dec. 5.
After public testimony, the council will deliberate and make a decision on the 2019 budget. Per state law, the county budget must be adopted after the budget hearings and prior to the beginning of the next fiscal period, Jan. 1, 2019.
Several of the budget requests Shawn recommends for approval are ones that benefit multiple or all departments. These include an annual subscription for Workday, the county’s new financial and Human Resources software, and upgrading computer software to Office 365.
Other recommendations include:
- Enacting the 1 percent property tax increase to generate $632,000 in additional revenue
- Increasing sales tax revenue forecasts for 2019 by $1.7 million
- Realizing $395,000 in cost saving budget interventions
- $1.6 million in Building Fund requests
- $21.6 million in Road Fund requests
- $7.9 million in Real Estate Excise Tax (REET 2) requests
- $2.6 million in Mental Health Sales Tax Fund requests
Annual budget process
The 2019 budget will be the first annual budget for the county in 18 years. The county had been using a biennial budget process, but the council made the decision to switch to an annual process for easier budget forecasting and time-saving efficiencies.
The complete 2019 recommended budget can be found on the county’s website at www.clark.wa.gov/budget/2019-budget.
County manager's office