REALITY CHECK: CLALLAM COUNTY SALES TAX, BUDGET SHORTFALLS,
INCREASING PUBLIC DEBT OBLIGATION AND DEFICIT SPENDING.
Below is a compilation of 15 points that require serious answers from our county leaders
based on hard numbers, facts and figures, not “Assumptions, Projections or Estimates”.
I for one would like to know how the county is planning to pay for mandatory essential
services this year and over the next 30 years in light of the current budget shortfalls,
impending Public Debt obligations and all other associated costs for the Carlsborg Sewer Project
and the pressing environmental issue begging immediate remedial attention in Sekiu.
The information below was obtained from the audio recording of the January 11, 2016
Board of County Commissioners Work Session.
1. The sales tax cut would represent a $1 million dollar cut in county income to save
20 cents on a $100 dollar purchase if left in place as Commissioner Peach and others
2. The $3 million dollar deficit in the current budget
3. The county will be $450,000 to $500,000 short of the $4.6 million budget.
4. The use of the Reserve Fund to balance the budget would leave $9.2 million in reserve.
5. A $1.2 million budget deficit for the $15.3 million Carlsborg Sewer Project.
6. Additional appropriations may be required from the Real Estate Excise Tax (REET)
or the Opportunity Fund for the Carlsborg Sewer.
7. A current balance of only $1.4- $1.5 million in the Opportunity Fund (1/11/2016).
8. Only an “estimated” $950 thousand-$1 million expected from the state sales taxes returned
for the Opportunity Fund.
9. Sekiu sewer is an pressing environmental issue begging immediate remedial attention. No funding.
10. $33,045 loan from the $10 million State Public Works Trust Fund Loan for the Carlsborg Sewer.
11. An additional $500,000 dollar loan pending from the $10 million State Public Works
Trust Fund Loan for the Carlsborg Sewer.
12. Debt Service (repayment) for the State Public Works Trust Fund Loan to be made from the
Opportunity Fund for the next 30 years, after a 5 year payment deferment, (kicking the can down the road).
13. Sales and use tax for public facilities in rural counties, (The Opportunity Fund) is set to
EXPIRE in 2023 and may not be reauthorized by the State due to budgetary shortfalls and
conflicts with other counties.
14. With the EXPIRATION of the Opportunity Fund in 2023 the Debt Service payment will have to
come from the County General Fund or Reserves. What effect will this have on future budgets?
15. “The State Public Works Trust Fund Loan is a PUBLIC DEBT that must be repaid regardless of
where the money comes from.” “In the history of the State Public Works Trust Fund Board there has
never been LOAN FORGIVENESS for Public Obligation Debt.” “Interesting Concept, not going to happen.”
Cecilia Gardener, Executive Director, Washington State Public Works Board.
P. O. Box 207