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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

San Mateo County proposes $3.4 billion dollars budget for fiscal year 2022-23

fiscal year 2022-23

San Mateo County Executive Officer Mike Callagy, published an estimate recommended $3.4 billion for FY 2022-23 that focuses on economic recovery from the pandemic, ending homelessness, and promoting social justice and equity.

"The economic consequences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic particularly affected many of our communities," Callagy said. "This budget seeks to help put those individuals and families, and indeed all vulnerable families, on a more secure financial footing by making investments in programs and services that will lead to long-term recovery."

While the recommended budget is balanced, Callagy cautions that the county faces risks due to possible changes in state law and factors beyond the county's control. 

These risks, he noted, include the state diverting significant county revenues while inflation threatens to increase the cost of numerous capital projects.

The release of the recommended FY 2022-23 budget is the first step in the budget process. Callagy will present his recommendations to the Board of Supervisors during three days of public hearings beginning June 28, 2022, while the Board will adopt the final budget in September after considering the revisions.

The Recommended Budget emphasizes investments in four priority areas:

Pandemic recoveryThe program will provide ongoing assistance to economically distressed residents, small businesses and nonprofit organizations, including $20.5 million for housing-related needs and $9 million for child care and after-school learning programs for socioeconomically disadvantaged students.

Equity and social justice: Implementation of decision-making tools to help target investments to the communities most in need, including adding resources to help overcome language, cultural and social barriers to community participation. 

Lack of housingThe County is looking to effectively end homelessness with the completion of the County's first Navigation Center - a 240-unit complex with a variety of services designed to help place people in permanent housing, while five recently purchased hotels are used as temporary or permanent housing.

Capital projectsThe County will continue to ensure that the County is prepared to serve the most vulnerable by continuing the renovation of the San Mateo County Health campus in San Mateo and replacing the Cordilleras Mental Health Center.

However, he said, inflation and supply chain issues threaten to increase the costs of these projects.

"This budget is consistent, stable and aligned with this Board's priorities: ending homelessness; continuing economic recovery efforts focused on socially vulnerable populations, children and families, housing needs and support for local business communities; and emphasizing racial and social equity," Callagy noted in a message accompanying the recommended budget.

At the same time, Callagy warns that "significant resources" are at risk. This is due to possible changes in state law that could change funding formulas for the County's share of vehicle license fees and excess revenues from the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund, or excess ERAF, which are surplus local property taxes returned by the state after local school. 

In his budget message, Callagy describes the elimination of 31 positions within the Probation Department due to declining caseloads as a result of changes in state law and a decrease in the population at the juvenile detention center, returning a total of $4.8 million to the General Fund.

In addition to adding a one-time grant of $2.38 million to Recovery and Behavioral Health Services to expand programs that seek to reduce cannabis and alcohol use and support additional programs.

Finally, he said, he will seek to balance a deficit at San Mateo Medical Center with $5.5 million to help with operating costs.

You may be interested in: Redwood City School District offers tools for families to cope with violent events

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