Budget policies 2011 2012


Board of SupervisorsBoard of Supervisors

Napa Mustard

Board of Supervisors Budget policies - FY2011-2012

Excerpted from CEO Nancy Watt's transmittal letter in the Budget:

"... in January of this year, your Board adopted a set of Budget Policies to guide staff in preparing the FY2011/12 Budget. Given the lingering effects of the national and local economic downturns, state fiscal problems and the projected structural imbalance in the General Fund, but recognizing that the County currently has substantial General Fund reserves, the Budget Policies generally call for holding the line on spending and utilizing the Board’s approved Fiscal Contingency Plan to structure the County’s response to fiscal difficulties. Key provisions of the Budget Policies include:

  • For General Fund departments and programs (except Health & Human Services), prepare budgets with a goal of holding Net County Cost to the current budget level, with exceptions being considered on a case-by-case basis. For non-General Fund departments and Health & Human Services, prepare budgets with a goal of holding the General Fund Contribution to the current budget level.
  • Do not propose new or enhanced programs or positions unless those programs are fully funded by a grant or other dedicated revenue source or they involve the reallocation of General Fund resources to fund critical accountability, regulatory compliance or public health and safety needs.
  • Pursue new revenues to the fullest extent possible for all services, as well as total cost identification for fee-setting purposes.
  • Except where the Board has previously made a decision to earmark revenues for a particular purpose, wherever legally possible revenues are to be treated as discretionary revenues, rather than dedicated to a particular program or purpose.
  • If funding is reduced, there should be no increased County share for programs funded primarily from non-General Fund sources, unless increased County share is legally mandated or the Board has previously determined that the program is a high priority.
  • For budget units with 20 or more allocated positions, budgets should be reduced to reflect historic salary savings.
  • Continue to fund the County’s Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) unfunded liability on a 20-year amortization schedule, and allocate the relevant cost to County departments.
  • Financial conditions permitting, transfer General Fund resources to the Special Projects Fund in an amount equal to 12.5% of the prior calendar year’s actual Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue received by the County.
  • Place a minimum of 3% of the General Fund’s appropriations into an Operating Contingency and work toward a goal of having General Reserves equal to approximately 10% of General Fund appropriations, not including the appropriation for Contingency and any budgeted transfer to the Accumulated Capital Outlay (ACO) Fund. General Reserves are to be maintained at this level at all times, except in the case of a dire fiscal emergency. If necessary to balance the General Fund budget, cancel designations in an amount not to exceed $2 million plus the amount of the General Fund Operating Contingency.
  • After covering current year operating and capital costs and meeting General Fund Contingency and Reserve requirements, place any remaining resources in a designation for fiscal uncertainties until General Reserves and unrestricted designations equal 20% of General Fund appropriations (not including the appropriation for Contingency and any transfer to the ACO Fund). Once General Reserves and unrestricted designations equal 20% of General Fund appropriations, transfer any remaining unappropriated discretionary resources to the ACO Fund. These funds will be accumulated and used to help cover the cost of needed major capital
  • improvements. Utilize the Board’s approved Fiscal Contingency Plan to structure additional recommendations that may be needed to address exigent fiscal difficulties.
  • Include quantitative performance measures in the Recommended Budget, including, where possible, “benchmark” data from other jurisdictions. The Budget should also include narrative information that describes the “story behind” the performance measures.