Thursday, December 6, 2012

County Proposes Hold-the-line Budget for 2013

The Grand County Council has approved a tentative 2013 budget that does not increase property taxes or add new employees.

The council voted 4-0 on Monday, Nov. 26, for a tentative $20 million operating budget – roughly the same amount as the current year, said Grand County Clerk and Auditor Diana Carroll.

The only growth in next year’s proposed budget is an additional $760,384 anticipated from the Transient Room Tax, which is scheduled to increase from 3 percent to 4.25 percent starting Jan. 1, 2013.

Council members decided Monday to add $55,274 to the Moab Area Travel Council budget and $50,000 to trail maintenance from that TRT revenue. To make up for those additions, they reduced the amount that law enforcement will receive by $905,332.

Besides holding the line against a property tax increase next year, the proposed budget does not call for a cost-of-living increase for county employees. Carroll said some workers who had been receiving lower salaries than their counterparts elsewhere in the state will receive a small boost in salary – an action the council previously approved.

The new budget would also not contain funding for a Grand County Sheriff’s Office communications director. The office sought that position, saying a reduction in overtime would pay for the position.

One noteworthy item in the proposed budget involves funding for the Grand County Road Department, Carroll said. About $126,000 was taken from the general fund this year to pay for a road grader, and that cost will be made up through a reduced roads budget next year, under the 2013 budget plan. Moab Times-Independent