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City Council gets preliminary look at 2015 budget numbers

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By The Staff

COMMERCE CITY — Council members and city staff examined an overview of a proposed 2015 city budget during the June 30 City Council session.

The overview is the first step toward passing a city budget for the 2015-16 budget year. Recommendations for department-specific requests and other presentations are slated to be made July 28, followed by budget meetings on Aug. 11 and 25, ultimately leading to public hearings on the budget on Oct. 13 and Nov. 3 this year.

Citing slow growth in both the national, state and local economies, budget overview showed that from January to May of this year, revenues trailed expenditures by just more than $835,000 — namely, court and investment revenues for the city have been lower than expected, while more revenue than expected is coming in from the overall sales and use tax, as well as revenue derived from sales and use tax auditing.

Given the low estimates the city is using, the overview’s preliminary revenue estimates for 2015 foresee:

• Just over $2.48 million in general property tax revenue;

• About $37.49 million in regular sales and use tax;

• And $9 million in the 1-percent sales and use tax.

All told, the preliminary budget overview has about $1.49 million estimated not covered by the city’s estimated revenues. City staff will continue working on the budget proposal with the goal of balancing the budget without using existing fund balances while also maintaining current levels of service, employment and capital maintenance.