Contact: John Lewis, Finance Director, 970-328-3511 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Dec. 13, the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved Eagle County’s 2012 budget. As approved, General Fund operating expenditures will be approximately $32 million for 2012, representing a $1 million decrease from 2011. Across all funds, expenditures are budgeted at $89 million and revenues are budgeted at $93 million.
The county began preparing in 2009 for reduced revenues in 2012. Projected decreases in property tax collections, sales tax collections and fees were addressed through budget cuts in 2010 and 2011, which included a reduction in full-time employees from 507 to 430 over the last two years. From 2009 to 2012, the county will realize a 20 percent decrease in revenues and a 22 percent decrease in expenditures in its General Fund.
According to County Manager Keith Montag, team members at all levels of the organization worked together to develop a fiscally sound and sustainable budget. “Our elected offices and departments have done a tremendous job in positioning us to provide quality services to our community in 2012 and beyond,” said Montag.
In addition, the county had its “AA-/stable” credit rating and outlook affirmed by Standard & Poor's (S&P) on Dec. 2; a designation that is among the highest of all counties in Colorado. In an excerpt from their report, S&P says:
“In our view, the county has maintained strong reserve levels despite recent tax revenue losses. At fiscal year-end Dec.31, 2010, the unreserved general fund balance equaled 36% of general fund expenditures, which we consider very strong, bolstered by a $3.4 million surplus (equal to 8.9% of expenditures). Management expects that actual fiscal 2011 general fund results will be slightly better than budgeted, resulting in a surplus of roughly $6.4 million, which would increase the ending total general fund balance to about $18 million, or 56% of expenditures, which we consider very strong and is well in excess of the county's 25% reserve policy. Management attributes the positive results to expenditure cuts and spending controls to match declining revenue and expects break-even results for 2012.”
Eagle County Finance Director John Lewis says the affirmed rating and outlook should give residents a great level of confidence in the county’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.
During today’s meeting, the commissioners also approved a total combined mill levy of 8.499 for 2012, an amount which has remained unchanged since 2004. The board will certify mill levies for other taxing districts in the county on Dec. 20.
The budget hearing is available for viewing online at www.ecotv18.com. For more information on the 2012 budget, contact Lewis at 970-328-3511 or visit www.eaglecounty.us/budget.