County of Marin - News Releases - Proposed Budget for 2017-18

For Immediate Release
June 01, 2017

Proposed Budget is $555 Million for 2017-18, Up 2.6%

Public hearing set for June 19; Board to vote June 20

San Rafael, CA – Marin County residents will receive a preview of the County government’s fiscal plans when staff presents the proposed 2017-18 budget to the Board of Supervisors on June 6. A public hearing is set for June 19 and a final Board vote is scheduled for June 20.

A view of the Civic Center with Lagoon Pond in the foregroundThe second year of a two-year budget is largely consistent with the plan approved by the Board of Supervisors in June 2016.

The County of Marin staff has spent months assessing the local economy, monitoring policy adjustments in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., and working with departments to address the County’s top priorities.

Staff is presenting the second year of a two-year budget that is largely consistent with the plan approved by the Board last June. The 2017-18 County budget is $555 million, including $440 million in General Fund spending. Overall, the proposed budget reflects an increase of 2.6 percent in spending over 2016-17.

As in recent years, the proposed budget focuses on strategic planning, paying down retiree liabilities, investing in roads and facilities, facilitating technical innovations, boosting customer service and enhancing safety net services such as mental health and homeless programs.

Newer priorities include funding for 100 percent “Deep Green” power from renewable energy resources provided by MCE, more resources for mental health including a two-year pilot project for Laura’s Law, and one-time funding for sea-level rise assessments.

“We continue to make progress on our community’s highest priorities and look forward to finding new and innovative ways of providing critical public services,” said County Administrator Matthew Hymel. “The County remains on solid financial footing and we are preparing for future uncertainty.”

The overall objective of the budget is to achieve the shared goal of making Marin safer, healthier and more equitable. The County’s 5 Year Business Plan serves as a roadmap on ways staff can deliver better service to residents. 

“This year’s budget focuses on key investments in the County’s highest priorities, as well as strategic planning for future uncertainty,” said Budget Manager Bret Uppendahl. “While the budget is balanced this year, policy changes at the state and federal level will have significant impacts on County finances.”

Although the median housing price of $1.2 million is at a record level, annual growth in the County’s property tax revenue has declined over the past two years. Over the next five years, increasing personnel costs and deferred maintenance needs are projected to outpace revenue growth, resulting in budgetary shortfalls beginning in 2018. The County Administrator will be working with all departments this year to identify cost-saving proposals. 

The County’s past fiscal discipline and its demonstrated ability to reduce unfunded liabilities were primary reasons that all three independent credit rating agencies have affirmed the County’s AAA credit rating. Over the past five years, the County’s unfunded retiree liabilities have been reduced by more than $200 million because of strong investment earnings and more than $94 million in accelerated payments.

The June 19 budget hearing is to take place in the Board chamber beginning at 9:30 a.m. and continuing after the lunch hour. The chamber is in suite 330 of the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael.

Learn more on the Budget overview page of the County Administrator’s site. Questions or suggestions about the budget may be emailed to


Bret Uppendahl
Budget Manager
County Administrator's Office

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite #325
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6358
Email: Bret Uppendahl
County Administrator website