During a budget seminar on Monday, Riverside County Supervisors were informed that the budget deficit for the next fiscal year could reach $102 million. More than $91 million of that deficit comes from just two departments.
The budget picture may not be as bleak, though, as the projected gap assumes granting all budget requests from various departments. In the Sheriff’s Office, for instance, the Sheriff has requested $602 million for the next fiscal year to cover raises, hiring, and expanded jail costs. That’s $39 million more than the $548 million supervisors say they can afford.
After reviewing departmental budgets, County CFO Ed Corser pegged the actual deficit of $49.5 million – not including the hospitals. County Hospitals are projecting a $52 million shortfall.
Riverside County does have a $140 million rainy day fund, and could option to not defer some sales tax revenues to help pay for a 2016 jail expansion. That would save another $6.4 million. The remainder – $8 million to fire, $5 million to each information technology and a court order addressing property tax fees, and $3 million to the District Attorney – could also be partially offset by growth in property tax revenues.
Read the full story at the Press Enterprise.