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Placer supes adopt $765.8 million budget

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Praising Placer County budget-balancing efforts, Placer County supervisors adopted a $765.8 million spending plan Tuesday for the coming year. On paper, the final budget is 1.1 percent more than last year’s final budget of $757.7 million. But Graham Knaus, finance and budget operations manager, said the new budget blueprint is actually 1.1 percent lower – if a technical accounting change is excluded from calculations. The new budget – which lasts through the end of June – was characterized by Chairman Robert Weygandt as “healthy.” Weygandt praised staff for helping “get the word out” to the public in clear terms that the county was not suffering in comparison to many other local governments. Supervisor Kirk Uhler lauded efforts to reduce year-over-year spending. County statistics indicate that there had been a 5 percent reduction in general-fund spending over the past four years, he said. “The county is in a – I’m not saying strong – but healthy position,” Uhler said. The county continues to be negatively impacted by the downturn in the once-booming housing industry. Knaus was that the good news was that the drop in assessment role values had slowed this past year. The decrease was 2.96 percent compared with 6.25 percent the year before. The drop in values translates into millions of dollars lost in property tax revenue for the county. In comparison, Placer County assessed values on real estate rose almost 17 percent in 2006. There were no comments from the public during the hearing.