Orange County has released its 2012 Consolidated Annual Financial Report, and a layman’s version called the OC Citizens’ Report. Together, they allow people to access and digest a financial recap of the 2011-2012 Fiscal Year, regardless of financial savvy.
The reports were produced by the Office of the Orange County Auditor-Controller, currently under the direction of Chief Deputy Auditor-Controller Jan Grimes.
Ms. Grimes introduced the report to readers in a letter.
“After four consecutive years of budget reductions, the County was able to adopt a structurally balanced budget for FY 2012-13,” she writes. “However, there remain many uncertainties on the horizon.”
Uncertainties reviewed in the report include shower-than-expected growth in revenues that required mid-year cuts to expenses. The original budget for FY 2011-12 called for roughly $3.4 billion in General Fund revenues, but only about 80 percent of that materialized. To maintain the balanced budget, General Fund expenses were reduced by 24 percent.
Charts provided details as to how the County collects revenues, how they are distributed between affected agencies including schools, and how those monies are spent.
In Orange County, residents paid roughly $5.9 billion in property taxes, which were then distributed between school (47 percent), cities (19 percent), the County (13 percent), special districts (11 percent) and redevelopment trust funds (10 percent).
Property tax is one of the main sources of funding for the County.
The report also offers residents and interested parties into a broad scope of government structure, and offers a comparison to neighboring counties. According to the report, for instance, Orange County has nearly half as many county employees per 1,000 residents as Los Angeles or Riverside Counties.
Concluding the report is a section dedicating to recounting the achievements made by the County, and new services offered as a result of County efforts. Topping the list for the year was the expansion of the John Wayne Airport, which served 8.9 million travellers, as well as the expansion of a mental health campus, public safety activities, and library services.