General Fund accounts for all resources which are not required to be accounted for in a separate fund. The General Fund is used to account for all the activities of a general nature including administration, legislation, public protection, health and welfare, parks and recreation.
Special Revenue Funds account for the proceeds of specific revenue sources, other than special assessments or major capital projects or expendable trust funds, which are legally restricted to expenditures for specific purposes. A description of special revenue funds follows:
The Library Fund finances library services in the unincorporated area of the county through contracts with the cities of Santa Cruz and Watsonville. Revenue is collected from property taxes in the unincorporated area of the County and from the cities of Scotts Valley and Capitola and is dedicated to the S.C. County Library Joint Powers Authority for library operations.
The Fire Fund provides support for coordinating fire protection and prevention activities with local fire protection agencies, County departments, and advisory bodies. Revenues consist of taxes and charges for services.
The Off Highway, Road and Transportation Fund provides for the construction and maintenance of County Roads, along with transportation planning activities. Revenues consist primarily of state and federal grants, state taxes, and a state subvention from vehicle license fees.
The Public Financing Authority is a legal entity separate from the County, although it is reported as a component unit of the County. The authority facilitates financing for the County and Redevelopment Agency.
The Fish and Game Fund provides for expenditures which are used for the protection and propagation of fish and game. Revenues are from the County’s share of fines collected for violations of fish and game laws.
The Private Revitalization of Downtown funds are primarily used to account for Community Development Block Grant programs. The principal sources of revenues are State grants, and housing rehabilitation loan repayments.
The JTPA Fund accounts for revenues from the federal government and expenditures as prescribed by the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA).
The Redevelopment Agency is a legal entity separate from the County, although it is reported as a component unit of the County. The Agency was established by law to use tax increment financing for the purpose of curing blight in the Live Oak/Soquel improvement project areas.
The Park Dedication fund finances park land acquisition and park development. Revenues come from development impact fees charged on new residential development and major residential remodeling.
The Health Services fund is to provide for future purchase of health facilities.
The Santa Cruz Flood Control and Water Conservation Zone 7 supports a special purpose district fund administered by the Department of Public Works. It is governed by an independent Board of Directors. Funding is provided by service charges.
The Districts Governed by the Board of Supervisors Public Protection, Health and Sanitation, Recreation and Culture, Public Ways and Facilities funds support a number of special purpose district funds administered by the Department of Public Works. Funding is provided by tax levies and services charges.
The Districts Governed by the Board of Supervisors Geologic Hazard Abatement District funds provide for financing and maintaining improvements necessary or incidental to the prevention, mitigation, abatement, or control of a geologic hazard.
Debt Service Funds are used for the periodic payment of interest and principal.
The Redevelopment Agency Debt Service Fund accounts for the accumulation of resources for, and the payment of interest and principal on, revenue bonds issued by the Santa Cruz County Public Financing Authority in July 1990 and December 1993. The bonds were issued for the purpose of financing certain redevelopment activities in the Live Oak/Soquel Community Improvement Project Area, and for refunding outstanding 1988 and 1990 Series B Tax Allocation Bonds.
The Local Assessment Bond Debt Service Funds account for the accumulation of resources for, and the payment of interest and principal on, special assessment bonds issued by local improvement districts. The bonds were issued to finance the cost of various construction activities and infrastructure improvements which have a special and direct benefit to the related property owners. The County acts as an agent only in these transactions; these bonds do not constitute an indebtedness of the County.
Enterprise Funds are used to account for operations that are financed and operated in a manner similar to private business enterprises, where the intent is that the costs of providing goods or services to the general public on a continuing basis be financed or recovered primarily through user charges. A brief description of enterprise funds follows:
Boulder Creek, Rolling Woods, Place De Mer, Sand Dollar Beach, Trestle Beach, and Summit West County Service Areas. These county service areas provide sewer collection, treatment and disposal services to residents within the district’s area. User fees are the principal source of revenue.
Septic Tank Maintenance County Service Area. This district provides maintenance for septic tanks in unincorporated areas of the County. User fees are the principal source of revenue.
Freedom County Sanitation District. This district provides sewage collection, treatment and disposal services for the residents of the Freedom area. User fees are the principal source of revenue.
Davenport Sanitation District. This district provides sewage collection, treatment and disposal services as well as the supplying and treatment of water to Davenport, Newtown, and San Vicente. User fees and contributions from the principal commercial customer are the principal sources of revenue.
County Disposal Sites. The disposal site fund provides for the operation and expansion of the County’s landfills and implementation of state mandated environmental health programs. The fund is financed by user fees, service area charges and revenues from waste recovery and recycling projects.
Internal Service Funds account for the financing of services provided by one department to other departments, or to other governments, on a cost reimbursement basis. A brief description of the internal service funds follows:
The Central Duplicating fund accounts for the County print shop, copy center, and mail room. Customers pay user fees for services provided.
The Information Services fund accounts for data processing and telecommunication services provided to County departments. Services are paid for by charging user fees for services provided.
The Public Works fund accounts for such County functions as construction and maintenance of the County road system and management of certain special districts and other related activities.
The Service Center fund accounts for maintenance of the County fleet of vehicles and for related services to other County departments. Services are financed by user fees for services provided.
The Self-Insurance funds account for the County’s self-insured risk management, dental and health, liability, worker’s compensation, employee benefit staffing, and state compensation insurance programs.
Trust funds are used to account for assets held by the government in a trustee capacity. Agency funds are used to account for assets held by the government as an agent for individuals, private organizations, other governments, and/or other funds. A description of the funds included in this fund type follows:
Expendable Trust Funds account for assets held by the County in a trustee capacity where the principal and income may be expended in the course of the fund’s designated operations. Funds included in this group are Local Health and Welfare Trust – Health, Local Health and Welfare Trust – Mental Health, Local Health and Welfare Trust – Social Services, and Sunset Beach Water Extension Construction.
Agency Funds account for the receipt and disbursement of various taxes, deposits, deductions, and property collected by the County, acting in the capacity of an agent for distribution to other governmental units or other organizations. Funds included in this group are County Departmental Funds, Payroll Funds, Property Tax Collection Funds, and Independent Agencies Funds.
Expendable Trust Funds account for assets held by the County in a trustee capacity where the principal and income may be expended in the course of the fund’s designated operations.
THE ENACTMENT OF AB1288 CHAPTER 89 AND AB1491 CHAPTER 611 STATUTES OF 1992 ESTABLISHED THE HEALTH AND WELFARE REALIGNMENT PROGRAM. THE REALIGNMENT PROGRAMS ARE FUNDED BY ONE-HALF PERCENT OF THE SALES TAX AND AN INCREASE IN THE VEHICLE LICENSE FEE. REALIGNMENT RESULTED IN A SHIFT OF RESPONSIBILITY FROM THE STATE TO COUNTIES. The following funds account for the County’s Realignment activities:
The Local Health and Welfare Trust - Health account for State and County Realignment funds designated for health programs.
The Local Health and Welfare Trust – Mental Health account for State and County Realignment funds designated for mental health programs.
The Local Health and Welfare Trust – Social Services account for State and County Realignment funds designated for social service programs.
The Sunset Beach Water Main Extension Construction fund accounts for the accumulation of funds from various agencies and taxpayers for the construction of the water main extension.
Agency Funds account for the receipt and disbursement of various taxes, deposits, deductions, and property collected by the County, acting in the capacity of an agent for distribution to other governmental units or other organizations. A brief description of agency funds follows:
The County Departmental Funds account for funds used for deposits which are under the control of various single county officers. Disbursements are made from these funds by the Auditor-Controller based on a properly written authorization from the responsible officer.
The Payroll Funds account for various employee payroll deductions, tax withholdings and employer contributions for fringe benefits.
The Property Tax Collection Funds account for the collection and distribution of property taxes and interest on bank deposits.
The Independent Agencies account for funds which belong to agencies which use the County treasury as their depository. These funds do not represent County monies, but in some cases the Auditor-Controller acts as their accounting officer. These funds include special districts governed by local boards, joint power authorities, school district funds, funds used for special operating purposes, the Trial Court fund and funds used to accumulate resources for specific bond obligations applicable to autonomous special districts.
General Fixed Assets
Fixed assets used in governmental and expendable trust funds’ operations are accounted for in the General Fixed Assets Account Group, rather than in individual funds. Public domain (infrastructure) assets consisting of certain improvements other than buildings (including roads, bridges, curbs and gutters, streets and sidewalks, drainage systems, lighting systems, and similar assets) are not reported in the account group.
General Long-Term Debt
The General Long-Term Debt Account Group is used to account for long-term obligations that are not specific to the proprietary funds. Included in long-term debt are Redevelopment Agency Bonds, Local Assessment Bonds, Certificates of Participation, Compensated Absences, California Health Facilities Financing Authority Bonds, and Capital Lease Obligations.