Gypsum keeps its financial head above water
Eagle Valley Enterprise
Vail, CO Colorado
GYPSUM, Colorado – Gypsum sales tax numbers are up just over 10 percent so far this year.
“Through July, we have basically received 69.2 percent of our budget, with 58 percent of the year completed,” said Jeff Shroll, Gypsum’s town manager. “But our budget was based on 2008, as it has been for the last two years.”
That’s to say the town’s budget has been very conservative since real estate sales and the construction industry dropped heavily in 2008.
“What we get in sales tax is a wash in property tax,” Shroll said. “We’re definitely not going, ‘Oh, gosh, we’re in the money.'”
Shroll said the town has been collecting about $1 million in property tax annually but next year expects to collect only $660,000.
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“The citizens won’t be seeing anything different, though,” Shroll said. “We haven’t raised property tax as long as I’ve been here, 18 years, and we’re not going to go hog wild, now, especially in an election year.”
Real estate and water and sewer tap fees are up from what was budgeted but Shroll said that’s because the town didn’t plan on much activity in those areas.
On a brighter note, the new Gypsum Public Library opened a little under budget. The town has also collected $7.1 million of the $8 million debt that was used to build the Gypsum Recreation Center in 2006.
One percent of the entire annual sales tax collection goes toward paying off the GRC 20-year note.
“Theoretically, we could pay off the rec center in two years, except there’s a penalty for paying it off early,” Shroll said. “So at some point we’ll have to sit back and wait. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
While there are some potential projects on the table, such as recreational river enhancements and an Interstate 70/Eagle County Regional Airport Interchange, those are largely dependent on grants. For now, Gypsum is simply keeping itself afloat economically.
“Life goes on and hopefully it can continue without layoffs or furloughs,” Shroll said.