In this article, we will provide a detailed analysis of the Rio Blanco County Budget Meeting held on October 22, 2021. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the county’s property tax revenue and total county expenditure. We will delve into the key points discussed during the meeting and provide a comprehensive overview of the budgetary matters.
Overview of Property Tax Revenue
During the meeting, the Rio Blanco County officials provided an overview of the current property tax revenue. It was stated that the property tax revenue had decreased by 8.7% compared to the previous year. This decrease amounts to a total of $605,064. The decrease in property tax revenue can be attributed to the reduction in the rate of assessment on all properties except residential properties.
The assessed valuation for the county was stated to be $66,857,950, representing an 8.7% decrease from the previous year. The total property tax revenue to be collected for the 2021 taxes collected in 2022 was estimated to be $6,375,250.
It is important to note that residential properties are only taxed at 7.2% of their assessed valuation, while other types of properties are taxed at a higher percentage. This means that a higher value of residential properties is required to generate the same tax revenue as other types of properties. Residential properties make up only 6% of the total assessed value of the county’s property tax revenue.
Oil and gas, industrial, and natural resources properties constitute the majority of the total valuation for property taxes, with industrial and oil and gas properties accounting for 68% of the total valuation.
Total County Expenditure and Revenue
The meeting also addressed the total county expenditure and revenue. It was estimated that the total revenue for the county in 2022 would be approximately $22 million, excluding the inner fund charges. This represents a decrease of approximately $4 million compared to the previous year’s estimated revenue.
The meeting highlighted that sales tax revenue had increased, and the county budgeted a flat revenue amount compared to the estimated revenue for 2021. Additionally, intergovernmental revenue saw a significant increase, with an estimated difference of approximately $4 million.
The increase in intergovernmental revenue was attributed to additional grant funds received through public health and the Department of Human Services (DHS). The majority of the DHS funds were related to electronic benefit transaction payments, such as food assistance programs. It was noted that the increase in intergovernmental revenue was not a new source of grant funding but rather additional assistance provided to individuals in the county.
Expenditure Breakdown and Fund Allocation
The meeting provided a breakdown of the county’s expenditure by object. This breakdown helps to understand the distribution of costs in different categories. The key expense categories discussed during the meeting were general government, health, and road and bridge.
It was mentioned that the road and bridge department still required a similar amount of property taxes, despite a decrease in property tax revenue. This indicates that the road and bridge department’s funding needs to be fulfilled to ensure its smooth operation.
The allocation of mill levies to different funds was also discussed, with the funds earmarked for human services, public health, and capital expenditure. The allocation may change depending on the needs of each fund and available resources.
Future Outlook and Investment
Regarding future projections, it was discussed that interest rates are expected to rise slightly, but the increase is not anticipated to be significant. The county officials pointed out that they have been investing in short-term instruments to mitigate any potential risks, which has resulted in a relatively higher rate of return. However, it was highlighted that the investment strategy may change in the future based on market conditions.
The Rio Blanco County Budget Meeting provided valuable insights into the county’s property tax revenue and total county expenditure. The meeting covered various aspects of the budget, including property tax assessments, revenue streams, expenditure breakdown, and future investment strategies. It is clear that the county officials are diligent in managing the budget in the best interest of the community. By understanding these key points, the residents of Rio Blanco County can gain a better understanding of the financial health and priorities of their local government.