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December 14, 2022

Skagit County Adopts 2023 Budget

The Skagit County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the 2023 budget on Monday, December 12. The preliminary budget was made available to the public on November 21, with a budget presentation and public hearing that followed on December 5.

To assure investments would have the greatest impact, the Commissioners approached this year’s budgeting process with the County’s newly minted strategic plan at the forefront, ensuring that decisions being made would be representative of—and complementary to—key focus areas and objectives.

Said Peter Browning, Chair of the Board: “We are proud that our leaders came together once again and supported a budget that balances funding for essential county services and enhances additional important services that support a thriving community.”

The budget includes an expense budget of $263 million, including nearly $72 million of General Fund expense and revenues of $62 million. This includes the spending of approximately $9.8 million in reserves.

Commissioner Wesen noted that “years of conservative budgeting” has allowed the County the ability to lean on reserves during the past two years. The County remains committed to adhering to past practices and sound governmental budgeting principles, maintaining the GFOA recommended two months of reserves in the General Fund.

The General Fund expense budget of $71,843,064 reflects an increase of 8.1% from the 2022 budget. The revenue budget of $62,010,853 includes a one percent property tax increase ($285,820), estimated collections from new construction ($321,924), and a sales tax projection that is 5% less than the historic high revenue of 2022. The one percent property tax increase will cost the owner of a $500,000 home between $6.46 and $12.47 per year, depending on their location.

As in past years, the County has assigned uncertain funding such as Payment in-Lieu of Taxes (PILT) to one-time expenses for capital facilities, deferred maintenance, and growing technology needs. The Road Fund budget includes revenue of $1,469,562 that was not levied in prior years and could have been.
To fund the design of fish passage projects and their eventual construction, Commissioners have included that revenue in the budget. The banked capacity tax increase will cost the owner of a $500,000 home approximately $51.80 per year.

To view the County’s adopted 2023 budget, visit: https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/BudgetFinance/2023Budget.htm. For questions, please contact the Commissioners’ Office at commissioners@co.skagit.wa.us or call (360) 416-1300.