County adopts budget

The budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year, approved May 10 by the Budget Committee, was adopted by the Board of Josephine County Commissioners at its June 1 weekly business session.

In the total amount of $196,747,000, the budget was approved with $195,752,000 in appropriations and no more than 473.48 full time equivalents.

Some notable allocations in the budget: General Fund – $25.39 million; Public Works – $14.31 million; Law Enforcement – $13.37 million; Community Corrections – $10.26 million; Mental Health – $10.03 million; Jail & Detention – $12.81 million; Forestry Reserve – $4.01 million; Internal Service Funds – $12.53 million; Special Revenue Funds – $14.48 million; Enterprise Funds – $32.41 million; Debt Service Funds – $1.68 million; Reserve Funds – $46.43 million.

Go to www.co.josephine.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=2336 to view the budget in its entirety.

JoCo Finance Director Sandy Novak was present at the board’s June 1 meeting and explained proposed changes to the budget.

“ISF actual charges will be 7% instead of the budgeted 8% for operational savings in law enforcement and general fund,” Novak said. “This decision was discussed by the board and will change the actuals for the coming year, but since this decision affects nearly every fund, it’s not reflected in this document. We will merely charge less and move appropriations from interfund charges for service to operations in each of the funds for the first supplemental of the year, well before the spending limit is needed.”

“Second of all,” Novak noted, “is the transfer for the loan from Roads & Bridges to the General Fund. This is Fund 47 to 10 and then from 10 to 12 – the Law Enforcement Fund. These two changes will allow us to increase three full time equivalents in the Law Enforcement Fund.”

Novak stuck around for the next item on the board’s agenda: Levying property tax rates and local option levy taxes for fiscal year 2022-23.

“This is what allows us to levy taxes,” Novak said of the resolution. “It is at the permanent rate of 58.67 cents per 1,000 dollars,” she said, noting that it is the lowest property tax rate in the state of Oregon. It is combined with the local option levies for the animal shelter – 11 cents per 1,000 dollars and the adult jail/juvenile detention – 93 cents per 1,000 dollars, for a total of $1.6267 per $1,000.

“I just want to make sure that everybody knows for clarity:” Board Chair Herman Baertschiger said, “No new taxes.”

He went on, “This is what is already approved, so it’s not like we’re adding anything on top of it.”

Commissioner Dan DeYoung further emphasized that taxes levied by the county are completely separate from those charged by districts such as fire and library.

“This doesn’t include any districts; just what we impose, approved by the voter,” stated DeYoung. “Those rates are established by their boards.”

The budget and tax levy resolutions were both unanimously approved.