2015-2016 Sublette County budget
Budget hearing held July 20th
by Pinedale Online!
July 20, 2015
Commissioners juggle decreased tax revenue and cost-cutting efforts to provide essential government services and best meet funding requests.
The Sublette County Commissioners met on Monday evening, July 20th for their final budget hearing to go over last minute adjustments for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The good news was that their revenue was up $3 million dollars this past year.
"We’ve basically met our five-year goal," said Sublette County Commissioner Andy Nelson, referring to efforts over the past several years to reduce the County budget. "If we run into some dire economic straits, we don’t have to panic." Commissioner Joel Bousman agreed saying, "We don’t know what is coming. As a board, we felt it was important to put some money away for bad times." Commissioner Jim Latta added, "We’ve done a responsible job for the taxpayers. Commissioner Bousman said the County is so dependent on gas, and they are facing many unknowns including the possible listing of sage grouse, the upcoming Rock Springs RMP and possible season restrictions on gas drilling which will all significantly impact the County coffers in the future.
The County will continue to tax the full 12 mill levy. The assessed value in the County is $3.7 billion. Their overall budget is $49 million, which is 6 million less than last year. They have a Cash Reserve of around $10 million. The gross total budget is 217 million, however the actual County operating budget is 55 million for the 2015/2016. The only number which changed significantly from earlier budget hearings was the Museum Board budget which was readjusted by $30,000 from earlier spreadsheets to keep budgets at the same levels as last year. The County will be making payments over the next five years to refund Encana $14 million in tax overpayments, a hit that is being spread out percentage-wise across the entire county budget requests.
The three Joint Powers Boards with the towns of Big Piney, Marbleton and Pinedale have $1933, $6918 and $1438 respectively.
The Sublette County Unified Fire now has its budget handled through the County for all the county fire battalions. The volunteer support funds each department has as part of their fundraisers is now being administered by the County but is held and accounted for separately and is not part of the County’s tax budget. Donation money is designated for the specific departments to which it was given and used for their volunteer activities. There is a monthly report for public transparency of these funds.
The Commissioners will approve the final budget on Tuesday, July 21st at their regular board meeting in Pinedale.
Click on this link to print out the 2015-2016 budget (PDF).