Does the Town spend all the revenue it brings in each year? If not, why can’t prior years’ savings be used to fund the needed fire and police positions?

The Town manages its finances conservatively and generally spends millions less each year than it brings in – this held true even during the Great Recession. Fire and police positions are in the General Fund, which had a 2020 year-end balance of $21.1 million – about $9 million of which wasn’t committed to a specific purpose. It’s not prudent for the Town to use those funds to hire additional fire and police personnel, however, because they can’t necessarily get replenished each year. CRFD and CRPD’s needs will add about $5 million in expenses in 2022 and another $4 million in 2023. (Additional costs in outgoing years are $3 million in 2024, $8 million in 2025 and $4 million in 2026.) One can see that simply using savings would not allow the Town to meet these needs, not to mention it would exhaust the Town’s savings, which is intended for use during difficult financial times or for funding extraordinary opportunities.

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1. How do CRPD’s staffing levels compare to police departments in neighboring communities?
2. Is a new fire station planned in Castle Rock?
3. How much would the new housing construction tax add to the cost of the average home in Castle Rock?
4. How do recent home sales prices in Castle Rock compare to that of other Front Range communities?
5. CRPD has requested 34 more staff and CRFD 41, for 75 positions total. The new housing tax is estimated to generate $13.9 million annually. Does that mean these employees would each be paid $185,000?
6. Doesn’t growth – new homes and new commercial developments, like the Promenade – generate enough sales tax to pay for the firefighters and police officers the Town needs?
7. Why is the Town requesting a 10-year “TABOR timeout?”
8. What would the effective date be for the ballot measures if they are passed?
9. Has the Town worked to cut its costs prior to requesting additional revenues?
10. My home’s value has increased, and I’m expecting a big increase to my property tax bill. Won’t the Town get some of that money to help meet its needs?
11. How does the Town’s sales tax compare to that of neighboring communities?
12. I understand the Town receives a nominal portion of my property tax, but I think I pay enough overall. If the Town needs more revenue, can’t it negotiate with other local tax recipients for some?
13. Don't the police and fire departments benefit from the impact fees the Town charges on every new house built?
14. Would a sales tax increase disadvantage Castle Rock businesses by driving people to instead make online purchases?
15. Can the Town use the $5.7 million it has received in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to address the needs proposed for funding by the ballot items?
16. Does the Town spend all the revenue it brings in each year? If not, why can’t prior years’ savings be used to fund the needed fire and police positions?
17. Why did the Town give business grants during 2020 if it has financial needs?
18. I heard the Town can’t ask for a 10-year TABOR timeout – that five years is the maximum timeout allowed. Is that true?