Summit County revenues down 18 percent
September 22, 2009
SUMMIT COUNTY – County sales tax revenues are down 18.6 percent ($695,000) for the first seven months of 2009 compared to the previous year, according to finance director Marty Ferris.
Reporting to the county commissioners Tuesday at a work session, Ferris said revenue building inspection fees and other fees are also down considerably from 2008. The biggest drop came in planning department fees, as activity at the county’s major resorts slowed considerably from last year.
Overall, the decline in revenues are in line with the county’s projected budget, which anticipated a 20 percent drop in revenues for the year. In a memo to the commissioners, Ferris said her department is hopeful sales tax collections will bounce back a bit in the second half of the year, especially with the start of the ski season in November and December.
Similar to observations in local towns, county officials said that, while there were plenty of tourists visiting the county, they just weren’t spending as much as in previous years.
Revenue from the mass transit tax, which provides funding for the Summit Stage, was down 14.6 percent for January-July 2009 compared to 2008. The transit tax is collected in the county as well as on sales in local towns.
Solid waste revenues were down about 16 percent from 2008. Landfill volumes decreased, as did revenue from recycling. According to the memo from Ferris, current landfill volumes are not enough to sustain landfill and recycling operations.
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The county will either have to increase landfill fees or start charging for recycling by January 2010, Ferris said. The commissioners have scheduled a Sept. 29 work session to address the issue.
On the other side of the ledger, Ferris said all expenditures for the general fund are on budget, despite $58,000 in overtime expenses for the assessor’s office, spent on processing property tax valuation appeals.
Ferris said the county is expecting revenues to be about $1.065 million under the revised 2009 budget and expenses to be about $500,000 under the figures projected by the revised 2009 budget.