County of Marin - News Releases - County Budget Update

For Immediate Release
April 03, 2018

Supervisors Approve Budget Reductions and Emphasize Key Priorities for 2018-19

The County’s budget will be finalized in June

San Rafael, CA – With its annual planning and budget workshops now complete, the County of Marin budget team will spend the next two months creating a new two-year budget that reflects the closure of a $5.6 million funding shortfall.

County Administrator Matthew Hymel (on left) speaks to the Supervisors as budget manager Bret Uppendahl (on right) looks on.County Administrator Matthew Hymel (left) speaks to the Board of Supervisors alongside Budget Manager Bret Uppendahl (right).
Departments have been working on belt-tightening budget reduction options the past few months. On the final day of the workshops on March 28, the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved staff recommendations to close the budget gap for fiscal year 2018-19 and 2019-20. It’s the first time in five years that the County is asking for budget reductions from its departments.

In addition, the Board received updates on emergency preparedness efforts, and each department presented highlights of their proposed workplan for next year.

The two-year budget process provides a longer-term lens to strategic planning. As part of the budget planning process, the Board heard a summary of each department’s strategic initiatives and performance plan. The final vote on the budget will take place in June.

The Board’s priorities for the upcoming budget cycle are:

  • Balancing the two-year budget
  • Preserving affordable housing
  • Prioritizing racial equity
  • Investing in County infrastructure
  • Addressing climate change and adapting to sea-level rise
  • Improving emergency preparedness

The Supervisors provided feedback on each department’s proposed workplan and provided direction to County budget staff as part of the final budget preparations. Highlights of the Board’s comments included allocating funding for emergency preparedness and climate change, continuing efforts to support affordable housing, implementing long-term changes to mental health services, integrating equity initiatives into ongoing operations, improving the responsiveness of County services, supporting economic development efforts and maintaining funding for unincorporated road infrastructure.

The County is operating under a $440 million General Fund budget for 2017-18. Budgetary shortfalls are projected to begin in 2018-19 because of slowing property tax growth, increasing personnel costs, and increased costs to repair County infrastructure.

The County’s largest source of discretionary revenue comes from local property tax. Growth in assessed values has slowed over the past few years, and long-term forecasts indicate an annual growth rate of approximately 5 percent, down from a recent high of 7 percent in 2015.

The largest slice of the County budget (more than 60 percent) is for personnel costs. Those costs have grown because of wage increases, health benefits, and workers’ compensation costs. The cost of maintaining County-owned facilities has grown as well.

The proposed 2018-20 budget will be presented to the Board on June 5, and public hearings will begin on June 18. Learn more about the County’s budget overview webpage.


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