How should more than $5 billion in taxpayer money be spent?

One set of answers will come Monday, when a proposed budget for the County of Orange is slated to be released.

The spending plan for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, will outline how the county CEO believes money should be used for services like law enforcement, public health, social services, parks and libraries.

Residents and the county’s top elected officials – the Board of Supervisors – are scheduled to discuss it in more detail at public hearings in the coming weeks.  Changes could be made by supervisors before they give their final approval on June 23.

The county government provides a wide range of services, including the sheriff’s department, district attorney, public health, social services, child welfare, libraries, parks, infrastructure, tax collection, restaurant inspections and many others.

With the economy continuing its recovery since the Great Recession, revenues will likely see an increase over last year’s figures.

At the same time, Orange County still ranks far behind other large California counties in its share of local property taxes that comes back from the state, a situation that county supervisors and labor leaders alike want to see changed.

A media briefing on the budget is scheduled for Monday morning, where the spending plan will be unveiled.

The budget hearings are slated for June 9 and 10, with the adoption of a final budget scheduled for June 23.

All of those discussions are planned to take place at public meetings in the county Hall of Administration in downtown Santa Ana (333 W. Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana).

Residents can address county supervisors for up to three minutes per person at each of the meetings, which typically start at 9:30 a.m.  More details will be available on the supervisors’ agenda webpage in the days leading up to the hearings.

Contact Nick Gerda at or follow him on Twitter @nicholasgerda.

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