Declining revenues imperil Kremmling’s chamber donations
April 28, 2011
KREMMLING – Faced with the prospect of three consecutive years of falling sales tax revenues, town officials have notified the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce that the organization may not receive any town funding next year.
“I regret to inform you that the Town of Kremmling may no longer be able to subsidize the Chamber of Commerce in the new budget year,” Town Manager Ted Soltis wrote to the chamber board of directors last week. “I say ‘may’ because that decision will not be made until budget time, and by then, perhaps, the economic news will be better.”
Soltis estimates the town could fall short of 2011 budgeted sales tax revenues by about $43,000. In addition, based on a projection that property valuations will decline by about 15 percent, he said town property tax revenues could decline by about $26,500 in 2012.
The town’s total budget is just under $1 million.
Soltis told the town board last week that January sales tax revenues were down 4 percent compared with January 2010, and they plummeted 25.8 percent in February compared with the previous year.
“That’s a major drop in revenue,” he said.
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The town has given the chamber about $25,000 each year for the past three years, Soltis said.
Kacey Beres, executive director of the chamber, could not be reached for comment on Monday or Tuesday.
“This is it,” Soltis said the of the town’s outside-funding efforts. “We don’t fund anybody.”
Last year, he said the town even stopped funding utilities for the chamber, the library and the fire department in an effort to save money. It also eliminated one of its 12 positions and mostly held the line on other expenses.
Other cost-cutting measures could become necessary depending on how much less revenue the town receives compared to budgeted revenue, Soltis said. However, officials will wait and see before deciding what those cuts might entail, Soltis said.
“What I’m hoping is going to happen is this year won’t be as bad as it’s starting out,” he said.
Still, town officials thought they should give the chamber a heads-up.
“We understand that this is a big blow to the Chamber and that is why we felt it necessary to inform you of our financial concerns now, to allow you to plan for that possibility,” Soltis’ letter says.