2014 Budget Overview
The 2014 Routt County budget projects $60,856,000 in revenues and $71,104,000 in expenses resulting in $10,248,000 of expenses over revenues, and after removing $518,000 of noncash expenses such as depreciation, the use of reserves is $9,730,000. The 2014 budget as compared to the 2013 budget includes a $15,472,000 or 34% increase in revenues and a $22,308,000 or 46% increase in expenses. The 2014 budget is separated into governmental activities and business type activities as follows.
include the County’s basic services such as Property Tax Administration,
Public Safety, Human Services, Community Services, Road and Bridge and Administration. Revenues are anticipated to increase $1,070,000 or 3% to $38,221,000, expenses are anticipated to increase $7,124,000 or 18% to $47,148,000 and results in expenses over revenues of $8,927,000. The decrease in reserves results mainly from planned Road and Bridge infrastructure replacement projects and from two interfund loans made by the Road and Bridge Fund to the Yampa Valley Regional Airport for capital projects.
The County’s base property tax revenue, which funds governmental activities, is anticipated to increase
$456,000 or 3.4% and is limited to this increase by the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR). Sales tax from all sources is anticipated to increase $311,000 or 6% based on 2013 collections.
The modest growth experienced in the County’s two largest revenue sources property
tax and sales tax remains tentative given the significant amount of uncertainty in the economy. In 2014, a 2% cost of living increase for all employees and
the partial reinstatement of the County’s Step
Compensation Plan were approved. The resulting increase in compensation is $888,000 or 7%. The compensation increase is being funded by the increase in property and sales tax revenues and by a decrease in health insurance costs. Health insurance expense decreased $300,000 or 10% due to actual costs being lower than premiums for
several years and the County’s ability to fund an adequate reserve by the end of 2013 for its partially sel
f-funded insurance plan started in 2011. The County budgeted $1.5 million or $750,000 in 2014 and $750,000 in 2015 for overlay and rehabilitation improvements on County Road (CR) 14 Phase IV. Phase IV work covers the portion of CR 14 from Yellow Jacket Pass north to Colorado Highway 131. The original cost estimate for CR 14 Phase IV reconstruction was $13 million and funding of this magnitude is not available so the County is starting on Phase IV in 2014 and 2015 with the hope to continue major improvements in the future. In 2014, the planned replacement of Road and Bride infrastructure includes two major bridges partially funded by federal grants, 21 miles of overlay and 24 miles of roads will be chip and sealed. Total infrastructure expense is $8.7 million
and is primarily funded by the Road and Bridge fund’s reserves
. Real estate values are slowly trending upward for single family homes and condominiums and foreclosures have decreased; however,
assessed valuation is anticipated to decrease approximately 12% in 2014. The decrease in
assessed valuation since 2010 is approximately 31%. For 2014, the County was able to absorb the 12% decrease in assessed valuation and the 3.4% increase in property taxes allowed by TABOR because of its available TABOR mill levy credit. Based on the