Commissioners approve county’s $573.8 million budget – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

Jackson County Health and Human Services is among the departments gaining new workers under the county’s new $573.8 million budget. Courier Tribune/Denise Baratta

Commissioners approve county budget of $573.8 million as financial reserves reach $209.1 million

Jackson County commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved a county government budget of $573.8 million, which includes $209.1 million in reserves.

The budget for the upcoming fiscal year which begins in July compares to the current fiscal year budget of $474 million with $190.8 million in reserves. In government accounting, governments must add up their expenditures and reserves to arrive at a total budget.

The county’s already sizable economies received a huge boost with $42.8 million from the US bailout bill passed by Congress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jackson County Commissioner Rick Dyer said the county continues to build reserves while providing services and not going into debt. He said the county is ready for any economic challenges.

“If that seems trivial or routine, you just have to check various government agencies across the state and country to find out that it’s not,” Dyer said.

Neighboring Josephine County doesn’t have enough money to keep its sheriff’s office running without major layoffs, and the town of Ashland is asking residents about service cuts to rein in years of unsustainable spending. The federal government, which does not have to balance its budget, has billions of dollars in debt.

Jackson County Commissioner Dave Dotterrer said the county was sticking to its priorities when developing the budget, despite pressure to spend money on less important areas.

Commissioner Colleen Roberts commended county staff for their work in developing the annual budget, virtually a year-round effort.

The county property tax rate will remain the same at $2.01 per $1,000 of property tax assessed value. This equates to $402 for a home valued at $200,000. Estimated values ​​represent an average of 64% of real estate market values ​​in Jackson County.

The county government workforce will increase from nearly 890.6 full-time equivalents to just over 938.2 full-time equivalents, an increase of 47.6 full-time equivalents.

The Health and Human Services Department will add the most people, but the Sheriff’s Office, Developmental Services Department, and Expo are among the departments gaining new workers.

The budget includes a 4.13% increase in the cost of living for executives and elected officials, who are not represented by the unions. They also get annual raises for gaining work experience, unless they have reached the limit on experience raises.

Due to repeated mistakes in his office, Jackson County tax assessor Dave Arrasmith gets the cost-of-living increase, but the Jackson County budget committee reverses him by a pay grade. instead of letting him move to the next step on the pay scale for his position. . He will still earn a salary of $123,884.80 once the cost of living increases begin this summer.

Compensation for county workers represented by various unions will change based on negotiated contracts.

Major expenditures include $27 million in roadwork paid for with state gasoline taxes, plus $30.3 million in airport improvements funded by state and federal grants.

Contact Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.