/ Modified jun 14, 2023 2:17 p.m.

Cochise County Supervisors approve tentitive budget

The total projected budget for FY 24 is $277 million

cochise county seal The seal of Cochise County.

The Cochise County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the tentative county budget of $277,936,938, which is an increase of 11.2% over last year’s budget.

Budget Manager Juan Frisby said the increase in the budget for Fiscal Year 2024 is due to an increase in special revenue funds, which includes grants that were given to the county.

Cochise County Administrator Richard Karwaczka also said that Property Valuations increased by almost $51.3 million, which totals $1.074 billion in Net Assessed Valuations.

“The rate previously was 2.6747,” said Karwaczka. “The rate is flat, but because the valuations have increased, the levy has increased and has given us some room to provide for salary increases, and so, to make some accommodations for the requests that elected officials have been made.”

He added that the increase in valuations has afforded the county more flexibility to provide for salary increases.

"In this year's budget, we talked about increasing — or putting in an amount for salary increases — which is roughly over $2 million," Karwaczka said. "Now, that is something that we can safely move forward on."

Because of the increase in the levy, Karwaczka said that a Truth in Taxation hearing needs to be set. The board set that hearing for July 11th at 10 a.m.

Of the $277 million total projected budget, $105,461,808 is dedicated to the general fund and $172,475,130 towards other funds, which includes $136,795,383 to Special Revenue Funds, $16,377,174 in Capital Projects Funds and $19,302,573 for Enterprise Funds.

In looking at general fund expenses, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office makes up 25%. In prior years, the sheriff’s office has taken up 24% of general fund expenses.

Courts and Criminal Defense take up 24% of budgeted expenditures, 18% are expenses related to Health and Social Services and 12% are expenses related to the board of supervisors, county assessor, treasurer, recorder, elections, and schools. Other expenses make up 21% of expenses.

According to the county, the end of Fiscal Year 2022-2023 projections in general fund expenses are $68,701,841 and revenues are $77,672,255.

In total, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors received 20 funding requests, which total $389,000 in one-time costs and $757,000 in recurring costs.

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