Parker may need to raise taxes or slash services in next decade

As build out nears, revenues projected to decline

Elliott Wenzler
ewenzler@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 7/22/22

Over the next 10 years, the Town of Parker may need to either reduce its services or raise taxes, according to a presentation given to the town council July 18.

That’s in part because as the …

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Parker may need to raise taxes or slash services in next decade

As build out nears, revenues projected to decline

Posted

Over the next 10 years, the Town of Parker may need to either reduce its services or raise taxes, according to a presentation given to the town council July 18.

That’s in part because as the town nears build-out, revenue growth is projected to slow significantly, said Mary Lou Brown, finance director for the town.

“We need to really have some serious conversations about tax increases or material new revenue sources, probably within the next couple of years,” she said.

The current projections show the town’s cash flow balance dipping low and in some cases going negative between now and 2032. 

“The projected general fund cash balance is inadequate beginning in 2030 and the recreation fund balance is inadequate in 2031,” according to the presentation. “The parks and recreations and public improvement funds have years where the cash balance dips too low.”

Some of the factors beyond build out that are impacting the town’s financial state are inflation, the possibility for recession, staff growth to keep up with an increasing population and aging infrastructure. 

The town expects to see declines in revenue growth from building permits, property taxes, sales tax, use tax and excise tax. 

The town’s sales tax is forecasted to grow at a rate of 8% in 2023, 7% in 2024 and 5% from 2025 to 2032, according to the presentation. The excise tax revenue is expected to grow until 2026 then remain flat. The use tax is projected to decline.

Mayor Jeff Toborg told the town council in April that he plans to lead a citizen’s initiative to repeal the portion of sales tax that comes from purchases of food from home consumption, also known as the grocery tax. Town council members stated they had not approved such a measure and legal staff recommended Toborg make clear he’s not speaking on behalf of council when he supports the measure. 

Following the finance presentation, Toborg confirmed his citizen group is still working to put the repeal question on the ballot. 

To address the coming decreases in funds, the town can either grow taxes,or  reduce or cut some of their services. Brown also suggested the town could offset declines in the recreation fund by raising the charges for such services.

The public improvement fund will have “too low” of a cash balance between 2024 and 2027, according to the presentation. That department is expecting $199 million in expenditures over the next 10 years.

Some of those projects and their projected costs include: 

  • Dransfeldt Road extension, south of Twenty Mile Road: $21.4 million
  • Lincoln Avenue widening between Keystone Boulevard and Parker Road, $18.8 million
  • Crowfoot Valley Road widening from Stroh Road to town limits, $14.7 million
  • Chambers Road widening at Stroh Road and Crowfoot Valley Road, $11.2 million 
  • Stroh Road widening between J Morgan Boulevard and Motsenbocker Road, $10.3 million
  • Jordan Road and Lincoln Avenue improvements, $6.9 million
  • J Morgan Boulevard extension to Reata, $6.8 million

Brown added that everything within the town’s budget is connected and small changes such as staff raises could have a big impact.

“There is no decision that we make that is a standalone decision,” she said. “Everything impacts something else in one way or another.”

Parker Colorado, taxes, finances, Mary Lou Brown, Grocery tax

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