Tulare County Braces for Budget Cuts

June 24, 2009 12:29:19 AM PDT
Tulare County's administrative officer described a bleak financial outlook as the county works on next year's budget. The county is dealing with a $12.7 million dollar shortfall and has asked all departments to trim their budgets by at least 7.5%.About a dozen people, many of them county employees, listened to a dismal Tulare County budget forecast Tuesday night. Jean Rousseau, the county's administrative officer, explained because of declining revenues and increased costs, the county must cover a $12.7 million dollar shortfall in the county's general fund.

They're hoping to get $3.5 million dollars in savings from union and non union employees, and they've asked departments to trim their budgets by 7.5 to 10 %. For the sheriff's department, that's $5 million dollars. The county's fire department must make $400,000 in cuts.

Tulare County supervisors usually don't approve a budget until mid-September, but because of the bleak forecast, they're hoping to have one in place by July 1. They also realize some adjustments may be necessary depending on the outcome of the state budget.

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