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Santa Barbara County approves $1.4 billion budget

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $1.4 billion budget for fiscal year 2022-23 in what marks the fourth consecutive year that the county has not had to make any cuts or reductions in services.

The $1.4 billion budget is an increase of $60 million – or 4.4% – from the previous year, with most of the change related to the increase in State 2011 Realignment and Mental Health Services Act funding to the Behavioral Wellness Department, along with local property tax collection increases of almost $10 million, according to a staff report.

Some of the departments allocated the largest sum of the $1.4 billion budget include the Sheriff's Office with $184.4 million allocated, the Public Works Department with $166.2 million, and Behavioral Wellness with $163.9 million.

The county's general fund increased by $26 million, or 5.4%, from the previous year to $509 million.

The spending plan includes money for county park improvements, building and facility upgrades, road maintenance, homeless services, and mental health support services.

The fiscal year 2022-23 budget supports 4,460 full-time equivalent employees, which is a net increase of 111 employees.

The majority of the full-time equivalent positions (65) come from the Behavioral Wellness and Social Services Departments, funded by increased state funding.

After the Board of Supervisors' budget hearings in April and the adoption of the adjusted budget on Tuesday, the county has allocated all of its $86.7 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation through December 2024, according to the staff report.

The first tranche of $43.3 million was already allocated, and the board allocated the remaining $38.4 million during the April budget hearings to things such as an Isla Vista Community Center sewer replacement, criminal justice data dashboard, and a public safety radio network, among other things.

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Jade Martinez-Pogue

Jade Martinez-Pogue is the Assignment Editor and web journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Jade, click here

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