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No budget or service level reductions for the first time since 2007.
Media Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelly Mullin

Reno, Nevada. May 20, 2013. The Washoe County budget for the next fiscal year (FY 13/14) was unanimously approved by the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) today during their special Board meeting.

For the first time since 2007, no budget reductions or service level reductions were required and no wage or benefit reductions were requested. Finance Director Sheri Mendez reported there is no overall tax rate increase for Washoe County for the tenth consecutive year, and the County has a balanced budget of $287 million in General Fund expenditures, transfers and contingency.

“Washoe County’s workforce has been reduced by 21 percent in the last 6 years, which means the County is now operating with 666 fewer full-time employees,” added Mendez. “ The County’s total budget for all funds is 40.5 percent below 2007/08 and General Fund spending is approximately the same as expenditures in the 2005/06 budget.”

The final budget for Washoe County supports the Board's goal of financial sustainability in the following ways:

  • Total sources and uses are growing by less than 1 percent
  • The property tax rate was unchanged at $1.3917 per $100 of assessed value (a home valued at $150,000 would pay $730.66 annually to support all County services)
  • Property tax revenues are essentially flat with 0.2 percent growth
  • Consolidated tax revenues (primarily sales taxes) are estimated to grow 3 percent, which is just sufficient to fund current service levels at next year’s costs
  • Washoe County’s Stabilization Fund (“Rainy Day Fund”) is budgeted at $4.2 million
  • Budget increases were approved for the following areas: Public safety/fire suppression: $2.7 million (allowing for approximately 13 additional positions at the Sheriff’s Office, 8 more emergency dispatchers and additional fire protection;  Courts and criminal prosecution: $240,000; General government (Treasurer, Public Administrator, County Commission support, Economic Development): $200,000

Positive Indicators from 2013/14 Budget

  • Washoe County’s AA Bond rating is the highest in Northern Nevada, which keeps  interest rate costs down when borrowing money
  • There is no increase in group health insurance cost for Washoe County employees
  • The County’s ending Fund Balance is 8.5 percent, which is two times what is required by statute
  • The Retiree Health Benefit long-term liability is budgeted at the full annual required contribution to the established Trust Fund
  • The 2013/14 fiscal year budget includes funding for state-mandated Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) increases

View the Washoe County 2013/14 budget complete report, or review the summary one-sheet.

In Mendez’s last BCC presentation prior to moving on to the job of controller for the University of Nevada, Reno, Commissioners praised her and the staff for all their hard work.

“We’ll miss you and your leadership,” said District 5 Commissioner Bonnie Weber. “Thank you for a great job and for pulling this all together.”

The BCC also met this morning as the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) Board of Fire Commissioners and approved the District’s 2013/14 budget of $22.5 million. TMFPD Chief Charles A. Moore said the total General Fund expenditures include the cost of the new paramedic program and increasing the level of service at Hidden Valley from a 2-person rescue unit to a full 3-person engine staffing.

“We took decisive actions to stabilize the District’s finances by working with our unions and consolidating the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District,” said Moore. “Because of that, we were able to stabilize the finances and are projected to keep all stations 100 percent operational.” The TMFPD will celebrate its first anniversary in July.

For more information, view the TMFPD budget report.


Note: Any Legislative action that impacts the County during the remainder of the Session may require an amended budget to be filed within 30 days of the completion of the Legislative Session.