County Budget Director Bob Cowan went before the Council Fiscal Management Committee today to predict a $40 to $50 million budget deficit in 2010. This

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The King County Budget Deficit Is Back

County Budget Director Bob Cowan went before the Council Fiscal Management Committee today to predict a $40 to $50 million budget deficit in 2010. This isn't actually unexpected to anyone following the budget process last year, but it's another reminder of why legislation in Olympia to give King County new taxing authority is so important. (Paging Ross Hunter.)

Even if King County manages to get out of this mess, there's going to be a lot of pressure on the next Exec--State Sen. Fred Jarrett (D-Mercer Island) just announced his intention to run against Dow Constantine and Larry Phillips--to show great fiscal savvy.

Full press release on the deficit after the jump:

In the wake of a 2009 King County Budget that started with a $93.4 million gap, the County's Budget Director today warned that the County's general fund faces a potential shortfall of 40 to 50 million dollars in 2010.

Today's revenue forecast, heard in the Council's Budget and Fiscal Management Committee, prompted the committee chair to again call on the state Legislature to provide counties across the state with the revenue tools they need to provide essential services.

"King County--and counties throughout Washington--are facing hard choices," said Council Budget Chair Larry Gossett. "Declining revenues are forcing us to decide which of the programs that protect the lives, health and safety of county residents will be reduced or eliminated. The state Legislature is still working on a proposal that would provide counties with the revenue options that will allow us to fund these programs. Without those options, the only choice we may have is to stop providing the services."

Bob Cowan, Director of the County's Office of Management and Budget, today told the Council Budget Committee that he is forecasting a drop in property tax revenue and up to a 5.3 percent decline in sales tax revenue.

The general fund supports the day-to-day operation of essential County services that have no other dedicated funding source. The regional criminal justice system accounts for more than 70 percent of general fund expenditures.

In the wake of a 2009 King County Budget that started with a $93.4 million gap, the County's Budget Director today warned that the County's general fund faces a potential shortfall of 40 to 50 million dollars in 2010.

Today's revenue forecast, heard in the Council's Budget and Fiscal Management Committee, prompted the committee chair to again call on the state Legislature to provide counties across the state with the revenue tools they need to provide essential services.

"King County--and counties throughout Washington--are facing hard choices," said Council Budget Chair Larry Gossett. "Declining revenues are forcing us to decide which of the programs that protect the lives, health and safety of county residents will be reduced or eliminated. The state Legislature is still working on a proposal that would provide counties with the revenue options that will allow us to fund these programs. Without those options, the only choice we may have is to stop providing the services."

Bob Cowan, Director of the County's Office of Management and Budget, today told the Council Budget Committee that he is forecasting a drop in property tax revenue and up to a 5.3 percent decline in sales tax revenue.

The general fund supports the day-to-day operation of essential County services that have no other dedicated funding source. The regional criminal justice system accounts for more than 70 percent of general fund expenditures.

 
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