Larimer County released its 2013 proposed budget today, a budget that sets the stage for three-year reductions in government services, public safety support services and possibly other county programs.
Larimer County Manager Linda Hoffman describes some of the three-year “playbook” measures to reduce the county’s general fund allocations, a result of the failed November 2011 ballot initiative to extend the .2 percent sales tax for funding debt and operational expenses at the county jail.
The Proposed 2013 budget represents a significant belt-tightening county-wide. In anticipation of the possibility of the jail sales tax not being supported by voters, the Board of County Commissioners reduced General Fund spending in the past three years. With each successive reduction, it is increasingly difficult to reduce expenses without impacting services to citizens. In 2013, departments are again finding efficiencies, sharing resources, partnering, redesigning systems for service delivery, and leveraging technology. At some point, these strategies are exhausted and levels of service to citizens suffer.
If the County’s other revenue sources to not grow rapidly enough to fill the void left by the expiring sales tax, continued implementation of the playbook cuts will diminish service to the public. This will be particularly pronounced in the Sheriff’s office; transportation services; public, environmental and mental health; cooperative extension; detox transport and treatment; and animal control.
— Linda Hoffman
More about the budget can be found at larimer.org/budget/2013budget/ .