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Santa Barbara County Looking at Proposed $1.35 Billion Dollar Budget

Leaders say county on solid ground financially, despite pandemic; No service cuts planned

Santa Barbara County officials say despite the financial impacts of the pandemic, the county is on solid ground financially.

County leaders are proposing a $1.35 billion dollar budget for the upcoming fiscal year. For the third year in a row, it would maintain services at current levels without any major program or staffing cuts.

County officials say federal, and state aid helped balance losses due to the pandemic. And, they say property and sales tax revenues remained stable, while cannabis tax revenue was larger than expected.

The proposed budget includes $14 million dollars for rental assistance programs, $12 million dollars for homeless programs, and $3.2 million dollars in additional spending to beef up mental health services. County Supervisors will start budget hearings Tuesday morning, and they will continue through the week as needed.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.