For the first time in three years, Tulare County isn’t making mid-year cuts and will end the year with a cash surplus of $10 million. The improved finances come as consumer spending continues to increase, resulting in a 10 percent boost in sales tax revenues.
In fact, this year marks a high-water year for general fund revenues for the County, with just over $637 million in the general fund. The general fund is again able to support pay increases for step and merit raises, and the County cancelled furloughs for employees. According to the County’s CAO, they survived the great recession.
The County’s general fund received $55.7 million from sales taxes, which far exceeds the 2007 mark of $49.5 million. Property taxes haven’t yet recovered to pre-recession levels.
The largest financial concern facing the County is now the Affordable Care Act, which could result in the State withdrawing funding for Medi-Cal currently allocated to Counties. But that reduction of funding is supposed to be offset by savings from the ACA.
Read the full story at the Visalia Times Delta.