Colorado Springs 2018 budget proposal: $16.3 million more

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Due to rising sales tax collections, the city expects revenues to grow by at least $16.3 million next year over this year.
Mayor John Suthers has proposed a 2018 budget based on an uptick in sales tax revenues. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Mayor John Suthers has proposed a 2018 budget based on an uptick in sales tax revenues.

That's prompted Mayor John Suthers to propose a 2018 budget that's that much higher than the current year's budget, or a total of $288.9 million.

The budget is based on the status quo, meaning it presumes the stormwater fee on the Nov. 7 ballot won't pass. If the measure, which would raise $17 million to $20 million a year, does pass, Suthers will submit an amended budget to City Council.

In that case, the budget would include roughly $8 million, because the stormwater fees wouldn't begin until July 1, so only half would be collected the first year. Enactment of the fees would allow the city to use the $17 million a year now pledged to stormwater needs for other purposes, including hiring more cops.

Suthers told the Independent in an interview today that if the fees are approved by voters, he plans to add 23 police officers and eight firefighters to improve response times and cut down on overtime pay.

Here's the city's release about the budget proposal:
Mayor John Suthers presented a balanced 2018 budget to City Council Monday, October 2. The 2018 General Fund budget is $288.9 million, $16.3 million or 6 percent more than the 2017 budget. The increase is largely due to a projected increase in sales and use tax revenue.

Attached is an overview of the budget development process and Suthers’ letter to City Council outlining the allocation of funds in line with the City’s strategic plan goals: Promoting Job Creation, Investing in Infrastructure, Building Community and Collaborative Relationships, and Excelling in City Services.

2018 General Fund Highlights:
· $900,000 in increased funding for park maintenance, recreational and cultural service needs
· $1.2 million in increased funding for city fleet replacement
· $750,000 contribution to the I-25/Cimarron landscaping project (part of city’s obligation for completion of Cimarron/I-25 project).
· $180,000 increased funding to Mountain Metro Transit
· $300,000 to improve the City’s online services relating to permitting, land use and licensing
· $5.5 million to address police and fire compensation issues and civilian compensation issues

The complete proposed 2018 budget is available at: coloradosprings.gov/2018budget

Upcoming Important Budget Dates:
Oct. 16 (all day) – Budget presentations to City Council
Oct. 19 – Public input meeting (5-7:30p)

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