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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Don Krupp, Chief Administrative Officer, 360-786-5440

Thurston County 2009 Preliminary Budget On Line

​OLYMPIA – Thurston County 's preliminary 2009 budget is on line on the county's web site.  The spending plan provides the financial framework that county officials will use to pay for programs and services for next year and the outlook is not good according to Chief Administrative Officer Don Krupp.  "The past few years we might have called each budget a "hold the line" type spending plan; the 2009 budget is regressive."

The total budget for 2009 is set at $374,087,170 which includes capital construction funds.  The general fund budget, which pays for most of the services used by the public, is actually down about 1% to $76,244,911.  Krupp says a structural problem in the budget has meant millions of dollars in cuts, especially in the '08 and '09 budgets, with more reductions to come.  "Counties rely primarily on property taxes and sales tax for revenue.  The property tax is limited to an increase of 1% a year which does not keep up with inflation.  And, as we all know, sales tax revenue is down dramatically because of the recession. With these challenges, we will be cutting back every year for the foreseeable future unless some elemental changes are made on the revenue side."

Every office and department of county government is cutting back in order to balance the 2009 budget.  Krupp says the reductions will be felt by the public.  "We are at the point now that reductions in staff and programs are needed.  That will mean the reduction or elimination of some services, the laying off of more employees, potential increases in fees for some county programs, and likely extra time for some services to be delivered." 

Those interested in reading a summary of the budget or in reviewing all of the details, should visit the Thurston County web site at www.co.thurston.wa.us and hit the button that says "Thurston County 2009 Preliminary Budget" on the right hand side of the page.  People can also comment by phone at 360-786-5440 or by e-mail by visiting the Board of County Commissioners page on the web site.

Thurston County Commissioners will hold deliberations on the budget through the end of November.  A public hearing will be held at 6 PM on Monday, December 1st in Room 280 of Building One of the Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW in Olympia .  Adoption of the 2009 budget is set for Monday, December 15th at the board's regularly scheduled meeting.

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3