Fresno County Board of Supervisors approves three-month budget

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno County Board of Supervisors approved a three-month budget Tuesday.

The budget reflects a 22 percent drop that came from a loss of state sales tax revenue for March.

That funding is from Proposition 172 and is supposed to pay for public safety.

The county also received 82 million dollars in federal relief through the CARES Act, but the money can only be used to respond to the pandemic, like paying for personal protective equipment.

"We can't use that money today to offset budget shortfalls," says Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig. "But we're confident that Congress is going to come up with a plan to allow us to use some of the CARES dollars for lost revenue, looking at sales tax revenues and property tax revenues that have fallen a little bit short."

Fresno County did get some positive news when it comes to property taxes. Despite the stay at home orders that have left many furloughed or unemployed, the vast majority of homeowners paid their property taxes on time.

"We're pretty much on par for what we were last year," Magsig said. "We're a few million dollars short overall, but really it's a good thing in the grand scheme of things."

County leaders have a reserve that's more than doubled over the past three years. The cushion allows them the option to fill in any budget shortfalls.

For now, the county's spending will remain as before the pandemic, with no cuts proposed for any department through September.

County officials say they are waiting on sales tax revenue from April and May. They're expected to be even lower because the stay at home orders were in full effect.

The county also wants to wait for guidance from the federal government before any decisions are made that would impact any budgets or county workers.
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