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Commissioners approve Lane County’s billion dollar budget

 Lane County Commissioners sitting at the dais.
Lane County Board of Commissioners
Lane County Commissioners approved a $1.1 billion budget for 2023-24 at their Tuesday morning meeting on June 14, 2023

The Lane County Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved the spending plan for the next fiscal year.

The $1.1 billion dollarbudget for fiscal year 2023-2024 passed unanimously. County Administrator Steve Mokrohisky told KLCC they were able to avoid layoffs or cutting services despite a deficit of $7.26 million dollars.

Mokrohisky said Lane County, like most cities and counties across the country, is experiencing the loss of additional federal funds that were being provided during the pandemic.

“Those funds have mostly dried up,” Mokrohisky said. “So we are all in the position of having to reconcile with that. And, again, in Lane County, of having a really small property tax rate to fund the services that we provide.”

But he pointed out that state and federal dollars make up 60% of Lane County’s budget. Mokrohisky says he’s proud Lane County was able to avoid cutting services and be accountable to taxpayers.

Key investments in the County’s FY 23–24 budget include:

  • 2 additional FTE in the District Attorney’s Death Investigations program
  • Increasing the part-time Program Specialist position in Emergency Management to full-time
  • Investment in the creation of a Behavioral Health Stabilization Center
  • Funding provided by two levies recently approved by voters: the new five-year Lane County Parks levy and the renewal of the five-year Public Safety Levy

Lane County’s budget is comprised of 33 separate funds. The vast majority of these funds are healthy and structurally balanced. Lane County’s most distressed fund continues to be the General Fund because it relies on limited revenue from Lane County’s $1.28 per $1,000 of assessed value property tax rate, one of the lowest rates in Oregon.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.