Moffat County commissioners discuss 2017 budget | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County commissioners discuss 2017 budget

Devaluation of oil and gas hurts county's property tax revenue

Patrick Kelly

Moffat County Commissioner Chuck Grobe, Frank Moe and John Kinkaid discuss funding for the county's Office of Emergency Management in 2017 with department director Tom Soos and Moffat County Finance Director Mindy Curtis.

The Moffat County Board of Commissioners met with managers of several county departments to discuss the 2017 budget on Monday.

Anticipating a $1.1 million decrease in property tax revenue for 2016, the county is asking each department to stay within a two percent increase of its 2015 budget for the coming year.

The decreased property tax revenue is largely attributable to the county's oil and gas assessment dropping by just over $51 million, or about 47 percent.

"Oil companies, gas companies turned the faucet down," said Moffat County Assessor Chuck Cobb. "If the price of oil, price of gas isn't where they want it — they might not produce as much."

Oil and gas related industry currently accounts for 11.42 percent of the county's assessed value — barely above natural resources, like coal, at 9.46 percent and well behind "state assessed," or public utilities, which makes up 51 percent.

The devaluation and anticipated revenue impacts are the commissioners' guiding lights in the 2017 budget process.

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"That's why they are being very particular," said Moffat County Finance Director Mindy Curtis.

On Monday, Commissioners Chuck Grobe, Frank Moe and John Kinkaid met with Moffat County Department of Social Services, Veterans Service Office, Office of Emergency Management, Assessor's Office, Moffat County Clerk and Recorder, Craig-Moffat Airport and Weed and Pest Management.

The heads of each department were given the opportunity to explain budget items to the commissioners for further deliberation as the county's overall budget is refined.

"This is like a fact-finding tour," said Grobe, while speaking with Cobb during his department's budget presentation.

The commissioners are responsible for publishing a draft budget by Oct. 15 and finalizing it by Dec. 15.

The county's stated goal for the 2017 budget process is "to maintain quality of life, inspire consumer confidence and community pride."

Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.