Archive for Thursday, July 3, 2008

County to ponder tightening budget

July 3, 2008


Douglas County Commission

Douglas County commissioners next week will decide which of two bitter tax pills to swallow.

Or they can come up with their own version of mill levy increase poison.

On Monday, County Administrator Craig Weinaug will outline the budget cuts that would be necessary to keep mill levy increases at levels from 2.5 mills to 3.76 mills.

"Obviously, the process is going to be a lot more difficult (than past years)," Weinaug said. "The choices are going to be hard."

Commissioners said they would spend Monday morning discussing what they prefer to do with the mill levy to support the 2009 county budget.

Then they will spend the next few days meeting with county-supported agencies and department heads about their budgets.

A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 of assessed valuation.

Weinaug has said it would take an increase of 5.75 mills just to maintain services provided in the 2008 budget plus giving a 1 percent cost of living pay increase, and setting aside money for an industrial park.

Declines in county revenue and increased costs are to blame, he said.

In a related budgeting matter, Douglas County Chief Judge Robert Fairchild presented a proposal from a private firm in Denver to study court efficiency.

The National Center for State Courts offered two study options, one costing $35,000 to $65,000 and another costing $35,000 to $49,000.

Fairchild said he also is waiting on a proposal from the Office of Judicial Administration to conduct a study that would be free.

Commissioners made no decision and will wait to see the office's proposal.


Sam_Knowlton 9 years, 7 months ago

Agree that best return on investment for tax dollars would be in creating more jobs. With the slowdown in job creation and the increase in fuel costs, I wonder if we're going to be saying goodbye to many like you, Xbus.Wrote about that here ...

MattressMan 9 years, 7 months ago

Both the city and county have plenty of fat that could be trimmed. Problem is nobody on either board wants to be the one to pull the trigger on the waste as they would then be looked upon as the bad guy. XD40 (Anonymous) says: There are certain fundamentals we expect: law enforcement, fire protection, infrastructure maintenance (roads, water, sanitary sewer) and the like. I agree XD40 so much more above and beyond that is a luxury. Trim the P&R budgets, fairgrounds, ditch mowing, outside agency funding etc. it can be done but no one is willing to take the first step.

hipper_than_hip 9 years, 7 months ago

johnson and mcelhaney don't give a hoot about the voters.

monkeyhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Thanks, c1. I really echo your sentiments. We are in a sad situation, but why does the burden have to keep falling on the same class time after time? There have to be sacrifices everywhere. I am sure most of us have already cut back where we can in order to survive this downturn. We should demand the same of the city and the county. The fat times are gone for now. We are suffering out here, our "leaders" need to listen, and they need to lead by example.

monkeyhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

"Monkey Hawk, I guess it is okay to fire people as long as it is not you Huh????How simple minded you are."Talk about simple minded... I suppose it is NOT ok to fire people if IS you? Do you feel that everyone who works for the county and city is entitled to draw a paycheck from the pockets of those unfortunate enough to own property here? Do you feel the only solution is to raise our taxes more to continue to fund all the wasteful items our taxes have gone to in the recent past at the expense of our basic infrastructure? Has the county and the city shown such fiscal prudence in the past that you are certain they always do the right thing to benefit the citizens as a whole? Are you so worried about bus drivers and golf course mowers that you be willing to see elderly folks out on the street? I used to think you got it.

LogicMan 9 years, 7 months ago

"If the County Commissioners do anything they should shelve the entire idea of funding the purchase of Farmland. Its not like they have to strike while the iron is hot, that there is any competition out there, ready to buy it out from under them. And if there is, then good! Let private industry take on that project."Dittos. It's no time to be taking on new projects -- wait for less-lean times.

Godot 9 years, 7 months ago

This is pre-emptive action and I don't think raising the mill levy at this time is the right thing to do. The increased mill levy will be applied to the value the appraiser established in March, which does not reflect the 10 to 20 decrease in property values since then. If the County Commissioners do anything they should shelve the entire idea of funding the purchase of Farmland. Its not like they have to strike while the iron is hot, that there is any competition out there, ready to buy it out from under them. And if there is, then good! Let private industry take on that project.We are going to get hit with a double whammy on our property tax bills in December - inflated property values and increased mill levies based on an anticipation of reduced property values in the future.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 7 months ago

Douglas County has already taxed the lower and middle income folks out. If I could sell my house for what they say it's worth, I would move without hesitation. After three generations of family in Douglas, it's time to get out. So sad.

monkeyhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

It is past time for the city and the county to make a commitment to the property owners. That commitment should be that they will do everything possible to adjust their own budgets, no matter what it takes, before they raise our taxes. Let's see if they have the guts to do that, before they start running people out of their homes. If it takes eliminating jobs, do it. If it takes cutting back services, other than absolute necessities, do it. If it takes selling a golf course or vanishing a vampire bus service, do it.The property owners are beyond declaring enough. We want to see action on the part of the taxing entities, and we want to see it now.

monkeyhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

...and the headline "County to ponder tightening budget", is that a mistake? Did Mike Belt mean to say that the county is to ponder HOW to tighten, or are they really just considering IF they will tighten their budgets?

KsTwister 9 years, 7 months ago

Great, a study to tell us what we already know; past city commissions squandered revenues meant for now. Go figure, much spent on studies too. Now we will need a bypass for a good reason.

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