The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) consists of three elected officials, each representing a geographic district but all of whom are elected at large. As the governing body of the County, the BOCC performs legislative, budgetary and policy-making functions, administers the La Plata County Land Use System, and advocates for citizens at all levels of government. Equally important, the BOCC establishes the vision and sets the direction for County government to plan for the future challenges that will face our community.
One goal recently identified by the BOCC was to create financial sustainability through activities that support creating long-term financial stability of our organization to include items which support: reducing our operational expenditures, improving business processes, and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness within our agency.
After experiencing a significant reduction in property tax revenues, the County has significant financial challenges. Despite prudent financial management in the past, it has become very apparent that part of our revenue challenges are both structural and in some cases systemic.
The La Plata County Fiscal Sustainability Steering Committee (the “Committee”) was convened by the BOCC in June, 2015 to advise the County how best to address capital improvement and operational needs, while maintaining a structurally balanced budget and preserving the County’s long-range fiscal sustainability. They presented the Board with three recommendations, including: 1) ask the voters for a mill levy increase; 2) implement impact fees; and 3) consider the implementation of a “Use Tax.” In November 2015 and 2016, a ballot measure for a mill levy increase was narrowly defeated. La Plata County has the fourth lowest mill levy of 64 counties in Colorado and consequently does not have a dedicated capital improvement budget for Public Works. This has been a major challenge in providing adequate infrastructure to support the substantial growth experienced across the county over the past forty plus years. The County, working with the Long Term Finance Committee (“Committee”), is still evaluating options to increase the Road and Bridge revenues and the potential adoption of road impact fees has been viewed by the Committee as an untapped revenue source.