Oct 14, 2010 5:52 PM by Zach Thaxton

El Paso Co. balanced budget reveals projected 2011 surplus

El Paso County commissioners received the 2011 Preliminary Balanced Budget Thursday morning.  As expected, the balanced budget shows a projected revenue surplus for 2011, but that assumes three tax-cutting and debt-limiting measures on the statewide ballot are defeated November 2.

Overall projected revenue for the county in 2011 is $233,868,120, according to a report presented to commissioners by El Paso County budget officer Nicola Sapp.  "Our overall budget is $233 million, which is down from previous years," said Board of County Commissioners chairman Dennis Hisey.  "Of that, $93 million we actually have some control over.  The rest of it is all legally restricted in one way or another."  Those obligations include road and bridge operations, a required local match to the Department of Human Services, annual lease obligations, and employee benefits.

Of the remaining $93,651,257, more than 65 percent is required to fund public safety and other obligations.  "We go from that $233 million down to a projected carry-over or surplus this next year of a little over $5 million," Hisey said.  $5,340,332 to be exact.  Hisey says the vast majority of that money will be saved and put toward future years when large deficits are expected due to a sharp decline in property tax revenues.

The figures presented Thursday do not take into consideration Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 on the statewide ballot.  The three measures would dramatically reduce a variety of taxes and fees and would restrict governments' ability to borrow or lease.  Hisey says passage of any of the measures, especially Proposition 101, would necessitate starting from scratch.  "If 101 passes, everything we've done to this point will have been a waste of effort," Hisey said.  "That's how dramatic the change will be to the budget.  We will have to start over completely with a whole new baseline."  If any or all of the measures pass, an emergency budget hearing will be held on November 4 to begin drafting a new budget.

Click the link below to view the El Paso County 2011 Preliminary Balanced Budget for yourself:


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