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The budget marks a 2 percent decrease thanks to recently completed capital projects

McMINNVILLE -- The Yamhill County Board of Commissioners recently approved the 2019-2020 fiscal budget of nearly $105.5 million, which represents a 2 percent decrease from the current operating budget. If adopted by the commission, the budget will take effect in July.

According to board chairman Rick Olson the property tax rate has remained steady at 2.57 cents per $1,000 of assessed value ($642 for a home valued at $250,000) since 1998. Personnel costs make up about 43 percent of the new budget, which is a 4 percent increase, and total nearly $63 million. All other costs which don't include personnel total 32 percent of the budget at nearly $50 million. Capital projects account for 7 percent of the budget, good for less than $11.5 million

"Tax revenue trended up 3 percent in the 2018-2019 fiscal year with the most notable a 4 percent increase in total assessed value," Olson said.

The commission will consider adopting the budget at its regular weekly meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday at the county courthouse. Public comment will be taken at the meeting.

"Overall, restrained spending by the current and past Boards of Commissioners, keeping prudent reserves, along with disciplined fiscal management by department heads, means that your tax dollars have been wisely spent," Olson said. "The bottom line is Yamhill County is on solid financial ground but, will face severe challenges in the 2019-2020 fiscal year in beyond."

Olsen explained that in July the county expects an increase in Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) rates that could top more than $1.1 million.

"The county has set aside $2.2 million in reserve in anticipation of future increased PERS costs," he said. "We also continue to have challenges with county facilities needs, including the jail, and increasing personnel costs."

A large chunk of the county budget is dedicated to criminal justice. The commission approved more than $34 million for criminal justice, which includes personnel costs, materials and services, and capital projects. Included in the criminal justice program is the Yamhill County Sheriff's Office, the county jail, a marine unit, emergency management juvenile detention and other line items.

Criminal justice saw a slight increase from the 2018-2019 budget.

Another major facet of the budget is the county's health and human services program. Including personnel, materials and capital projects, this makes up more than $49.5 million of the budget. Line items in this include veterans and disabilities services, public health, adult behavioral health services, family and youth services and other items.

Health and human services saw an overall decrease from the current budget.

General government costs accounted for less than $17 million; public works for less than $15 million; internal services made up more than $20 million; land use for just over $7 million; culture and recreation accounted for more than $2 million; community services stood at just over $5 million.

"During the 2018-2019 fiscal year, several large capital projects were completed, most notable is the new public works building and several large remodel projects for Health and Human Services," Olson said.

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