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San Juan County $280 million Biennial Budget up 19.5 percent from 2022-23 budget

February 8, 2024 – San Juan County's 12-page 2024-2025 Budget in Brief has been posted along with the 500+ page 24/25 biennial budget. Rich with graphics, photos, and expenditure highlights, the Budget in Brief provides a quick overview of the County’s complex and numerous revenue and expenditure funds, as well as the key initiatives and community services funded by the SJC Budget in Brief $280.1 million budget.

“I think you will find that the broad swath of services highlighted reflect the needs of our island community,” writes County Manager Mike Thomas.

The 12-page Budget in Brief is divided into six major topics that highlight themes throughout the 500+ page full County budget:

Partnering for Change

Community Enrichment

Access for All

Planning for a Changing World

Stewarding Island Resources

Sustaining a Resilient Workforce

Two historical events proceeded the adoption of the Budget – the 150th anniversary of the County and the official (state and federal government proclamations) end of the COVID 19 pandemic. The federal funds (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)) provided to the County over the past several years were instrumental in funding a host of pandemic-related activities ranging from vaccine clinics to the support of organizations whose mission it is to support those most affected. The Budget consumed the remaining ARPA funds.

Post-pandemic revenues (2021-present), namely sales tax receipts spurred on by strong construction numbers, have and continue to provide needed revenue into the County’s General Fund. The County’s multi-year sales tax forecast calls for a slow-down in sales tax for 2024 with a gradual upswing in 2025. The Road Fund revenues are expected to remain stagnant due to a reduction in state shared motor vehicle excise tax. This will impact Public Work’s ability to tackle infrastructure projects unless supported by state or federal grant funds.

“The relatively positive revenue outlook is counterbalanced by an anticipated slowdown in the real estate market (and construction) due to federal interest rate policy aimed at keeping inflation in check,” writes Thomas in the Budget in Brief’s Executive Summary. “A marked slowdown could negatively impact the Home Fund (affordable housing), Land Bank fund, and the Capital funds.”

Thomas notes that the County will exercise great caution during the biennium and if necessary, make any adjustments to keep expenditures in line with revenues.

The use and pursuit of state and federal funds continues unabated to address the impacts of climate change, WSF ferry service, regional health, and capital infrastructure replacement (culverts, docks, roads, bridges).

“The 2024-2025 Biennial Budget is a balanced budget predicated on a cautious but optimistic outlook on the Island economy,” Thomas concludes. “The many services and initiatives you will read about in the Budget in Brief are made possible by the hard work of County staff – we thank them all.”

Read the full Budget in Brief here: sanjuancountywa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/29372/2024-25-Budget-in-Brief_San-Juan-County or on the County’s budget webpage (sanjuancountywa.gov/2030/San-Juan-County-Budget).

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