The sheriff’s office has gone over budget by $6 million with the use of overtime as it struggles to fill budgeted law enforcement and custodial assistant positions, the official said. Santa Barbara County Executive Office to the Board of Supervisors last week.

Most of those costs will be offset by savings from unfilled positions, but about $1.5 million will still exceed the department’s $178.6 million budget, according to the county executive office.

It is the only department in the county with a projected negative variance for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

There are currently vacancies due to employees in training programs, 24 people on workers’ compensation leave, 26 custodial assistant vacancies, and 12 overhiring positions that the sheriff’s department may fill if it reaches full staffing capacity for its other budgeted positions.

The department’s difficulties recruiting and retaining staff meant it was unable to reach full capacity and overstaffing funding was not used as intended, according to the department’s executive office. county.

The sheriff’s office spent $8.1 million on nonreimbursable overtime during the third quarter, and that’s expected to reach $10 million by the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

The board of supervisors filed the financial status report and directed staff to work with the sheriff’s office on fiscal policy and plans to address the long-term issue of overtime costs.

Specifically, they asked staff to “develop and propose a budget policy for review in December 2022 that addresses a long-term fiscal plan regarding overtime costs, overhiring capacity, and other staffing issues. costs to the sheriff-coroner’s office while ensuring accountability”.

Scroll down to read the full staff report for the third quarter financial update.

Cannabis tax revenue still lower than expected

Revenue from sales tax, transitional occupancy tax and property transfer tax are all higher than expected for the current fiscal year, but cannabis cultivation and retail sales taxes are expected to be much lower than budget staff forecast: approximately $10.8 million versus $19 million.

Local operators pay taxes based on their gross receipts, and wholesale marijuana values ​​have been lower over the past year, according to county staff.

No retail dispensaries have yet opened in unincorporated areas, although several local towns have had such stores for a few years.

Six dispensary locations have received preliminary approval and are still working through the permit and license process with the county.

Scroll down to read the full staff report for the third quarter financial update.

Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2021-22 Budget Status Report and Cannabis Tax, Compliance and Enforcement Update…

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