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Supervisors set to adopt $1.9B budget
September 24, 2012, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal Staff
County supervisors are ready to adopt a $1.88 billion budget, up more than $48 million from the document recommended earlier this year because of revisions that include revenue from a new vehicle rental business tax passed by voters in June.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday is set to sign off on the fiscal year 2012-2013 budget that is largely the same as that considered during the week-long June budget hearings but that adds back 21 positions and adjusts several funds and departments to accommodate new revenue and expenses. The tweaked budget also increases county reserves by $28.3 million and only requires $11,730 in county costs.

The budget does not include any major state budget reductions and any adjustments needed because of the November state sales tax measure will be considered later in the year.

One major addition to the county’s finances is $6 million in revenue for the new tax on vehicles rented in the unincorporated areas, primarily at San Francisco International Airport, which kicked in July 1. Voters, which also defeated two other tax measures, passed the 2.5 percent vehicle tax during the June 5 primary and it will bring in an estimated $8 million annually. The $6 million adjustment represents the first three quarters.

The largest September revision is $8.6 million for countywide information technology projects, including replacement of the voice mail system and expansion of virtual and wireless services.

One-time cost adjustments include $620,416 for a negotiated labor increase with the California Nurses Association,  $1.8 million to transition staff at the former Burlingame Long-Term Care and smaller amounts to shift coroner staffing, contribute to the Mid-Coast Community Council and adjust the civil grand jury budget.

The proposed budget is higher than last year’s $1.756 billion budget which County Manager John Maltbie in June attributed to a number of capital projects, including $44.2 million for the first planning and construction phase of a 576-bed jail and $9.7 million for tenant and seismic improvements to Circle Star South which will house county departments including 911 dispatch.

Funding for the new jail has drawn dozens of opponents to previous board meetings to demand the supervisors rethink their desire for a new correctional facility. At the last meeting, speakers told the board they would crowd the Tuesday budget hearing again if the money was not removed from the budget before approval.

"By adding more than 500 beds to the county jail system, the supervisors will strongly discourage the sheriff from reducing the population while draining resources from life-affirming programs and services that keep people from becoming involved in the criminal justice system to begin with,” said South San Francisco resident Bernadette Rabuy, member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget, in a prepared statement.

The Board of Supervisors meets 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25 in Board Chambers, 400 County Government Center, Redwood City.

Michelle Durand can be reached by email: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.

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