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The Board of Larimer County Commissioners formally approved the 2020 Budget today with nearly $576 million in gross expenditures planned for the coming year. Larimer County’s net operating budget, which—excluding capital projects, disaster recovery costs, and non-operational transfers—will be $289.6 million.

The commissioners also certified property tax mill levies for the county, cities, schools, special districts, Foothills Gateway, and abatements and refunds. The certification is the basis for the tax revenue collected by the Larimer County Treasurer. Larimer County’s operating mill levy has been 21.571 mills since 1992 and is divided between the General Fund, Road and Bridge, Human Services, and Health and Environment. An additional 0.75 mills are levied by the county for Foothills Gateway to fund services to persons with developmental disabilities.

To offset some of the impacts of rising property values reflected in the last reappraisal, a property tax credit totaling $3.5 million is budgeted in 2020. The mill levy will be adjusted temporarily to distribute the credit among all Larimer County property owners and will be taken from the portion of the mill levy that would otherwise be credited to the county General Fund.

The 2020 Larimer County Budget was prepared in compliance with state statute, accepted budgeting principles, funding agency requirements and the priorities of the Larimer County Commissioners. In 2019, Larimer County was recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association for publishing a budget that acts as a policy document, an operation guide, a financial plan, and a communication device. The 2020 budget continues to conform to these requirements.

Larimer County government includes multiple divisions and departments under the ten elected officials established by the Colorado constitution. Each department and office provides a collection of services to residents, property owners and visitors. The vast majority of county services are provided without regard to municipal boundaries: city residents receive the same level of service as those living in unincorporated areas. The County’s net operating budget is organized into five service categories that describe the type of services delivered. Some service categories include contributions from multiple elected offices. The service categories are:

  • Public Safety
  • Human and Economic Health
  • Community Planning, Infrastructure, and Resources
  • Public Records and Information
  • Support Services

In addition, the County budgets annually for capital improvement projects that provide enduring value to the citizens of Larimer County. Generally, these projects exceed $50,000 in cost and are expected to last for five years or more. Some examples of capital expenditures include construction projects for buildings or roads, major maintenance or rehabilitation of existing assets, real property acquisition, vehicle and equipment purchases for the County’s fleet, or replacements of software operating systems. The capital improvement projects reflected in the annual budget are derived from a comprehensive five-year plan.

Again, this year, the County has separated recovery costs from the 2013 flood from operational budgets. This aids a comparison of the cost of government over time. 2018 was expected to be the last annual budget with substantial flood recovery costs but due to delays in project approvals by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) substantial costs have been incurred in 2019, continuing into 2020.

In addition, the budget includes a group of non-operational governmental accounts that are necessary to track various financial activities of county government such as transfers between funds, reserve funds for self-insurance needs, and taxes collected and distributed to other entities.

View the 2020 budget online at https://www.larimer.org/budget 

Published on: 
Friday, December 20, 2019 - 3:12pm
Contact Details:

Linda Hoffmann, Larimer County Manager, lhoffmann@larimer.org, [970] 498-7004; Josh Fudge, Larimer County Budget Director, jfudge@larimer.org, [970] 498-7017.

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Fort Collins, CO 80521
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