Preliminary Budget Passed, More Cuts Expected

The Moffat County Commissioners passed a preliminary budget for 2018 at their meeting yesterday. The County continues to experience budget difficulties as revenues from property taxes have fallen more than $2 million since 2010, partially due to oil and gas valuations dropping significantly since 2011. Property taxes account 33% of the county’s total revenue and 68% of the county’s general fund. Due to the declines, the county set a goal of cutting or moving general fund revenues, in order to save $2.5 million. To date, the county has been able to move or save $1.3 million within the general fund for the 2018 budget. This was accomplished by increasing revenues by $423 thousand, decreasing expenditures by $412 thousand and by cutting $470 thousand in general fund expenditures, which were used to subsidize other county services like the landfill. The commissioners stressed the budget that was passed yesterday was only preliminary, with significant changes and more cuts expected when the final budget is passed in December. Because county revenues are projected to fall over the next 5 years, the county has begun shifting to a priority based budgeting system. Through priority based budgeting, the county will explore potential partnerships with other public and private entities, with the goal of having these entities administer a services currently provided by Moffat County, in order to save more money.

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