Strong sales tax growth buoys Granby’s 2019 budget
December 2, 2018
Granby's town budget for 2019 was approved early last week and according to projections the municipal government should see a surplus of over $76,000 next year.
Last Tuesday Granby's board approved a series of resolutions and ordinances that collectively served as formal adoption of the town's fiscal budget for the coming year. Overall the town anticipates total revenues at $8,288,557 including roughly $3.79 million in sales and use taxes. Sales tax revenue alone, which accounts for roughly 62 percent of the town's operating revenues, are expected to increase by 10 percent.
Figures provided by Granby Finance Director Sharon Spurlin show the town expects to take in $2,864,400 in sales tax in 2019. That figure is a $239,000 jump from the end of year 2018 sales tax projections for the town, at $2,625,000, and is almost $400,000 more than the sales tax collected by the town in 2017, which totaled $2,480,237.
Town budget officials are anticipating an increase in general property tax revenues in 2019 as well. Granby's projections for general property tax revenue in 2019 total $354,866, up from $347,878 in 2018 and $342,974 in 2017. The mill levy for Granby will remain at 7.217 mills in 2019. Because of Colorado's Taxpayers Bill of Rights, or TABOR, the voters must approve any increase in the town's mill levy rate. Spurlin noted to the board that Granby's mill levy rate has not increased since 1992.
On the expenditure side of things town officials anticipate $8,211,652 in costs in 2019, leaving a total surplus of $76,905 for the year. The single largest segment of the town's budget is related to the cost of providing water and sewer services. The 2019 budget for Granby anticipates $2,355,593 in water and sewer operations expenses. The next largest category of expenditures, "general services", comes in at nearly $1 million less at $1,464,691. The third largest category of expenditures is related to public safety and totals $1,187,094.
Salary expenses for the town's public safety department have increased significantly over the past few years, owing largely to the addition of several new employees. In 2017 Granby's budget lists public safety department salary expenditures at $388,709. For 2019 the town projects total department salary expenditures of $598,000. The town's public safety department includes the Granby Police, code enforcement and the cooperative school resource officer program with East Grand.
The budget notes that increases in expenses for public safety salaries are related to growth within the town and a local police force that has expanded in recent years to include multiple new officers, a code enforcement officer and a school resource officer. The budget also includes anticipated expenses for another new officer the department plans to add in July next year.
The town's expenditures related to fringe benefit health insurance have gone up significantly over the past two years. In 2017 the town spent $56,839 on that particular line item while its 2019 budget anticipates expenditures of $100,550 in that category. The budget notes that costs related to CIGNA increased 9.5 percent in 2019 and that costs from an additional employee were added to the total in July of this year.
Worked into Granby's budget projections for the coming year are additional expenses entailed from the hiring of four new positions that were created in 2018. The addition of four new positions brings Granby's tally of full time equivalent employees up to 31. Data provided by the town shows that Granby had 27 full time employees on the rolls in 2017.