BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Commissioners unanimously approved a $383.7 million dollar budget yesterday.
Commissioner Tammy Baney says the budget is $26.4 million more than last year's but there was a decrease, too. "Deschutes County is fortunate to have come out of the recession with great valuation in property values, which means that we have been collecting more than, quite frankly, we need to operate the county." Baney says the county's rapid growth means people will get some money back. "For the second year in a row, we have been able to add to our capital reserves to plan for the future, and also be able to reduce the tax rate to the taxpayer." She says .06 cents per $1,000 in valuation may not seem like a lot, but it represents good planning. "Coming out of the Great Recession, and making sure the county has the appropriate long-range planning and capital reserves is critical to the future success of the county."
The approved budget includes $2 million for a crisis center to help mental health patients who aren't candidates for jail, and money to hire a new Sheriff's Detective to help with rural marijuana issues. Baney also says money has been set aside for Victims Assistance through the District Attorney's office and for Veteran's Services to work to prevent suicides.