Colorado cities fare better than nation, increasing revenue

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A survey by the Nation League of Cities showed cities in the nation ended 2012 with a 3.9 percent decrease in municipal revenue compared to 2011.

However, a news release from the Colorado Municipal League said Colorado cities fared better than the nation, reporting 47 percent of Colorado’s municipalities had witnessed increased revenue since 2011, while 31 percent saw no major change.

With large cities in the Front Rage faring better with 83 percent of its cities reporting increased revenues, the Western Slope was not far behind with 54 percent of its cities reporting increased revenues.

According to the release, municipalities are budgeting conservatively, cutting street maintenance by 30 percent and police budgets by 11 percent, listing employee health care costs, unfunded street and water/wastewater projects and public safety needs as some of the top challenges when agreeing on a 2013 budget.

Other issues the release cites deal with infrastructure needs and cities inabilities to adequately meet them all, especially street, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

The cost for water and wastewater infrastructure in Colorado has increased from $4.5 billion in 2011 to $7.5 billion in 2013, according to the release.

Not all bleak, the release said a majority of cities, 88 percent, participate in at least one or more economic development activities, with promotion of special events such as whittle the wood at the top of the list.

Along with tourism promotion, tax and fee incentives, small business grants and redevelopment projects are all meant to strengthen local economies.

To view the entire State of our Cities and Towns report, click here.

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