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Grocery tax revenue came in at about $9.1 million in 2020, making up 16 percent of the $57 million in total sales tax revenue for the year. Grocery tax only applies to food purchased at the store and then eaten at home. Other items such as paper goods, cleaning supplies, toiletries and even foods that can be immediately consumed, such as prepared sandwiches, are taxed separately from groceries.
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Now that final guidance has been released, Town Council will soon be deciding how to use the Town’s American Rescue Plan Act funds. To date, an affordable housing project has not been part of internal Town discussions on the topic, though that would be an allowed use. Historically, the Town has supported affordable housing within the community as a participant in the Douglas County Housing Partnership and not through direct projects. Town staff is likely to recommend using the funds in question to support existing Town priorities, like roads or public safety, rather than recommending instituting new priorities related to these one-time funds. Members of the public will be welcome to bring forth ideas like this as Town Council deliberates regarding use of the funds in the coming months.
Posted Jan. 31, 2022
No, renewable water is funded through growth-related revenue from new development in Castle Rock, as well as from fees on monthly water bills. The Town’s water funds are classified as enterprise funds, meaning they legally can receive only minimal tax support.
Yes. Part of the Town’s sales tax revenue is allocated to the Transportation Fund. That fund provides for maintenance of streets – including snow removal – as well as for capital projects. Elimination of the grocery tax would impact the resources available annually for street maintenance and construction.
Using preliminary 2020 year-end numbers, the Town estimates it will end 2020 with $27.7 million available in the General Fund. Of this total, approximately $9.1 million is unobligated or not already designated for a particular use. The Town believes this reserve amount reflects sound cash management in the event of an economic downturn, given the Town’s annual General Fund expenditures exceed $55 million.
Your tax money supports the Town’s Fire and Rescue, Police, streets, Parks, Open Space, Recreation Center and administration services.
On average, the owner of a $430,000 home in Castle Rock pays about $37 in property tax to the Town. Most of the Town’s funding comes from sales tax revenue, with charges for services (fees) and other revenue sources making up the rest.
No. The Town is a full-service municipality, offering police, fire and rescue, parks and recreation, water, building/planning/zoning, and roads/public works services to the community. However, other public entities work within Castle Rock, too. For example, Douglas County provides social, correctional and other services; CDOT maintains traffic signals on and near state highways; and the Douglas County School District is responsible for oversight of local schools. There’s even a separate cemetery district. Waste removal, meanwhile, generally is handled privately, or by a homeowners’ association.
No. Local schools – including teacher salaries and building maintenance costs – are funded through the Douglas County School District. More information about funding for Douglas County schools can be found at dcsdk12.org.
Several neighborhoods in Castle Rock have Metropolitan Districts, “Metro Districts” for short. These Metro Districts are separate governmental entities and are usually created by the developer/property owner at the time of initial development of the neighborhood or subdivision to allow for a special, localized mill levy to be imposed for certain development-related improvements (local streets, waterlines, landscaping, neighborhood amenities, etc.). These mill levies continue to support debt payments for initial improvement costs, some maintenance and new enhancements and other items set out in the approved service plans for the Metro Districts.
Metro Districts – and their mill levies - vary widely throughout Castle Rock as shown in this Town-prepared report.
Since the Metro Districts are separate entities, specific budget questions should be directed to your Metro District.
Businesses selling tangible personal property in the Promenade area have an additional Public Improvement Fee (PIF) that is assessed and remitted to the metropolitan district in that area. The metro district uses that revenue to repay debt that it issued to construct the infrastructure to develop the area.
Castle Rock’s combined sales tax rate is 7.9 percent, which includes State (2.9%), County (1%) and Town (4%). The receipt also indicates taxes charged by other jurisdictions, which, in some cases, tax items at a different rate than the Town. For example, the Town taxes food for home consumption (gallon of milk, loaf of bread, etc.), but the State of Colorado and Douglas County do not. Therefore, for all food for home consumption, the only tax that should be applied is at the 4% rate. However, there are many things everyone taxes, such as laundry detergent, which would have a tax rate of 7.9%. The different rates are broken down by the grocery store’s system, which charges the correct tax on each item, according to the jurisdiction’s tax base. Therefore, it would be incorrect to add up all the percentages to 10.8 percent. Rather, the receipt shows a breakdown of various jurisdiction’s taxes.
A balanced budget is a core part of the Town’s annual planning efforts. In fact, state law requires local governments to balance their budgets. We wouldn’t have it any other way.