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Following several opportunities for feedback, Town Council on Tuesday will consider initial approval of the Town’s budget for 2022 and associated financial items.
The Proposed 2022 Budget is designed to continue delivering high-quality services to the community with minimal financial impacts to existing residents. Any increases to taxes are pending voters’ approval of four ballot questions in this November’s election.
Both existing property taxes and the overall monthly water bill for the average residential customer actually would decline slightly for 2022 as the budget is proposed.
The Town Charter limits annual growth in Town property tax revenue to 5.5%. Given increased property valuations within the community, this means the Town must lower its mill levy rate for 2022.
At the current mill levy of 1.196, the owner of a median-valued Castle Rock home ($449,947.50) pays $38.48 annually in Town property tax. The preliminary 2022 mill levy of 1.136 would decrease that amount to $36.55.
On water bills, some line items are proposed to hold steady in 2022, while others would adjust up or down based upon financial modeling. The overall impact of the proposed changes would mean a decrease of 51 cents per month for the typical residential customer.
The recommended decrease will still allow for more than $180 million investments in water system, long-term water, stormwater and wastewater improvements over the next five years.
The four ballot measures, meanwhile, would provide additional funding for the Town’s fire, police, roads, parks and recreation, trails and open space services.
If voters approve a tax that builders would pay when constructing new houses and apartments in Town, the fire and police departments plan to add 75 more personnel over the next five years. This would include the staff needed to open a sixth fire station in northeast Castle Rock.
Voters’ approval of a temporary, 10-year “TABOR timeout” would also provide additional revenue for fire and police services and for roads – especially the needed interchange at Interstate 25 and Crystal Valley Parkway. If the timeout is approved, that project would be pursued in addition to more than $70 million in routine road maintenance and more than $80 million in other projects to increase capacity and improve traffic flow over the next five years.
A proposed lodging tax on visitors’ overnight stays in Town would provide additional funding for Parks and Recreation purposes, and a requested 0.1% sales tax increase – 1 cent on a $10 purchase – would generate $8 million over the next five years to fund additional trails and open space.
The full text of the four ballot questions, along with frequently asked questions, is at CRgov.com/2021election. The entire proposed budget and a two-page document with more details are available at CRgov.com/2022budget.
Public comment on the proposed budget will be taken at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting. Visit CRgov.com/CouncilMeeting for details on how to participate.
The budget, mill levy, water rates and five-year financial plan are expected to be adopted in December, once results are known for the election.
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