Budget Overview

Matthew H. Hymel, County Administrator
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Our objective in preparing the budget is to make fiscally responsible recommendations in an open and transparent manner that are consistent with long-term priorities.

The County’s two-year budget is structurally balanced and fiscally sound. Public hearings were held on June 20th and June 22nd in the Board of Supervisors Chambers to discuss the FY 2016-17 Proposed Budget and FY 2017-18 Plan.

Over the past several years, the County of Marin has taken several actions to bring the budget into balance. Ongoing expenses were reduced by over $30 million and the workforce was reduced by approximately 10%. The County adopted a lower-cost retiree health plan for new employees in 2008, negotiated lower pension tiers for new employees in 2011, implemented the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) of 2013, and established an Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) trust to fully fund retiree health obligations. Over the past four years, the County reduced its unfunded retiree liabilities by over $240 million, leading all three independent bond rating agencies to affirm Marin County’s AAA credit rating.

Explore the County’s Proposed Budget documents below, or use our new Open Budget Portal for a more interactive presentation of our budget.  In a partnership with OpenGov.com, the Open Budget Portal is a web-based financial transparency and business intelligence tool that dynamically presents the County’s revenues and expenses, from multi-year trends to line item level details.



Marin County Budgets

The County of Marin's yearly budgets for the fiscal years 2000 through 2017 are available below.

The Proposed Budget represents the County's proposed spending plan for the coming fiscal year as well as a work plan based on countywide priorities. It also serves as a tool to inform the community about County government. The Proposed Budget includes detailed information about County services and the County's finances and provides an overall statistical profile of Marin County. Summary information about each department's most important goals and initiatives is also included in the Proposed Budget as well as in their performance plans. The Budget-in-Brief provides a high level overview of the Proposed Budget and the Capital Improvement Program identifies the County's short-term and long-term capital needs. Finally, the Department of Finance compiles the Final Budget (including Special Districts), and produces the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

FY 2016-18

On June 7, 2016, the Board of Supervisors reviewed the Proposed Budget for the new fiscal year that began on July 1, 2016. Public hearings were held on June 20 and June 22, 2016 in the Board chambers before the Board adopted the Final Budget.

FY 2015-16

On June 2, 2015, the Board of Supervisors reviewed the Proposed Budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2015. Public hearings were held on June 15 and 17, 2015 in the Board chambers before the Board adopted the Final Budget.

The FY 2015-16 Budget and Performance Plan Workshop was held in April 2015. For more information, please see the Board letter summary and the departmental performance plans for FY 2014-16. This public workshop plays an important role in the County’s budget development process.

FY 2014-16

On June 3, 2014, the Board of Supervisors reviewed the Proposed Budget as an interim spending plan for the new fiscal year that begins on July 1. Public hearings will be held on June 16 and 18, 2014 in the Board chambers before the Board considers adopting the Final Budget.

Budget Presentations and Forums

Budget Presentations

Community Budget Forums

Long Term Restructuring (LTR)

Role of the Public

The budget process is a continual one and citizens have many opportunities to make themselves heard. They may write letters or talk to supervisors and department heads. They may speak at any public hearing on the proposed budget or on amendments to the adopted budget. They are encouraged to apply for appointment on one of the many appointive boards and commissions where County programs are reviewed, public policy may be initiated and program budget priorities are studied and recommended. The annual steps may be seen in the Budget Calendar.

Agendas and background information for regular meetings of the Board of Supervisors are available online and at the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors reception desk by the close of business the Friday preceding the regularly scheduled Tuesday meetings. Budget hearing schedules are also available online.

Copies of the final budget are available at the Department of Finance and at Marin County public libraries.

Budget Calendar Cycle

Public budget hearings are conducted by the Board of Supervisors.  The calendar for these hearings is published in local newspapers.  Precise dates and times are available at the Office of the Clerk of the Board or in the departments concerned.  Final budgets are approved by the Board at the end of the hearings by reference to the financing uses in the budget as finally determined for the County of Marin. At the end of the public hearings, the Board formally adopts the approved balanced budget and sets the tax rates within constitutional limits.

Budget Calendar Cycle
Month Description of Activities
January Departments begin planning for the coming fiscal year and begin to prepare budget requests.

Departments submit estimates of current year expenditures and budget requests covering current and proposed programs or changes to the County Administrator.

The County Administrator meets with departments to review current year department program results, priorities and budget issues mid-year to inform budget planning.  Determination is made of funding available for the current budget.

March Budget requests are reviewed and analyzed by the County Administrator. Preliminary comparison of total requests with total anticipated revenue is made in consultation with Department of Finance.

The County Administrator makes preliminary expenditure adjustments to bring proposed total expenditures in line with total anticipated revenues for the coming year.

The County Administrator meets with department heads to discuss budget requests and financing limits.

May Departments amend their requests and the County Administrator prepares the final recommendation for a balanced budget based on the latest available information

The proposed budget is presented to the Board of Supervisors. Copies of the Proposed Budget are available at the County Administrator's Office for the public, or copies may be studied at local public libraries.

The Proposed Budget is adopted by the Board and becomes the legal authority to continue services until the final budget is adopted.


The Department of Finance compiles the Final Budget in accordance with the County Budget Act (Government Code §29000 et seq.) and presented in a format prescribed by the State Controller.

Departments submit capital improvement requests for the next fiscal year.

Common Budget Questions

You'll find a list of commonly asked budget questions and their answers in our FAQs section.