It’s budget season, and El Paso County wants to invite everyone to several public hearings on the 2019 preliminary budget.
The El Paso County Financial Services Department presented the Preliminary Balanced Budget at the Sept. 20, 2018 Board of County Commissioners meeting. The next budget hearings will be held Tuesday, Oct. 16 and Thursday, Oct. 18 when the Commissioners will hear critical needs presentations from County departments and offices (see hearing schedule below). Members of the public are invited to these meetings to share their views on the discretionary budget allocations.
The $356.6 million Preliminary Balanced Budget includes $130.2 million in discretionary revenue that the Board of County Commissioners will distribute to provide core services such as public safety and infrastructure. The remainder of the budget will go to projects and programs set by state or federal law or other restrictions which cannot be altered by Commissioners.
El Paso County government is able to meet these needs with the lowest cost-per-household of any large county in the state. The average household with a market value of $250,000 will only contribute $140 in property taxes to the County budget during 2019.
The 2019 Preliminary Balanced Budget seeks to balance the needs of fiscal responsibility and sustainability while adhering to the five-year Financial Roadmap set in 2018. The County’s five-year Financial Roadmap was a commitment to devote more resources to high-priority critical needs such as transportation, cyber security and technology, emergency reserve funds, human capital, and TABOR impacts.
If passed in its current form, the 2019 Preliminary Balanced Budget will increase funding for critical road safety projects by an additional $7 million. The plan identifies a path forward to fund another $16 million in transportation needs by 2023. The budget also would increase the County’s emergency reserve to $2.8 million. Other critical needs could be addressed as well, such as ADA compliance projects and public health programs.
“We’re proud of the work done to present this budget to the Commissioners,” said El Paso County Chief Financial Officer Sherri Cassidy. “The County has long struggled to have the resources to fund every critical need, but the Financial Roadmap presented to the Commissioners provides a foundation for sustainability while living within our means.”
Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDJa5R_GsiY&feature=youtu.be to see a video of the September 20 budget hearing.
The remaining 2019 El Paso County Budget hearing schedule is as follows:
October 16 & 18, 2019
- 2018 Department/Offices Critical Needs Presentations
Chief Financial Officer – Updated Revenue Projections & Five Year Forecast
Citizen Outreach Group Presentation
November 8, 2018 2019
- BoCC Direction on the 2019 Original Adopted Budget
November 29, 2018 2019
- Resolution to Adopt the 2019 Original Adopted Budget
[Statutory Deadline – December 15, 2018 C.R. S 29-1-108 (2) and (3)]
- Resolution to Certify the County Mill Levy
[Statutory Deadline – December 15, 2018 C.R. S 39-5-128 (1)]
- Resolution to Authorize the Treasurer to Transfer between Funds
[Statutory Deadline – December 31, 2018 C.R. S 29-1-108 (4)]
Members of the public may attend and comment on the budget during any of the above meetings.
The 2019 Preliminary Balanced Budget may be viewed online at the El Paso County website by going to https://admin.elpasoco.com/financial-services/budget-finance/county-budget/ and will also be on file in the El Paso County Financial Services Department, Budget Division at 200 S. Cascade Ave., Suite 150 in downtown Colorado Springs.