Tax Revenue

Increasing Tax Revenue

Money In

Property tax alone brings in about 29% of the yearly budget. Sales tax brings in an additional 6 to 7%, while the balance comes from more than 100 other types of taxes and sources of revenue.

When levying property taxes, it is the responsibility of the County Assessor to determine the proper land use category for each individual parcel. Land may be zoned as agricultural, commercial, industrial, vacant, or residential, each with many different subcategories. The base tax rate is the same for all categories, but the what determines the tax charged for a particular parcel is, for residential, the latest market valuation. For other properties, like commercial, it is the specific use of the parcel. For example, retail business has a commercial taxable rate which differs from office space. Agricultural land tax is based on grazing classifications, irrigation, and type of usage. Agricultural land, generally, has a low tax rate. Commercial land, which holds a business of some type is assessed a higher tax rate. Homesites are taxed based on their assessed value. It makes sense that land zoned for agriculture but used commercially needs to be reclassified to be assessed fairly.  As a commissioner I will work closely with the Assessor’s office to ensure proper taxes are collected fairly and equitably, based on state statutes.

Property tax alone brings in about 29% of the yearly budget. Sales tax brings in an additional 6 to 7%, while the balance comes from more than 100 other types of taxes and sources of revenue.

When levying property taxes, it is the responsibility of the County Assessor to determine the proper land use category for each individual parcel. Land may be zoned as agricultural, commercial, industrial, vacant, or residential, each with many different subcategories. The base tax rate is the same for all categories, but the what determines the tax charged for a particular parcel is, for residential, the latest market valuation. For other properties, like commercial, it is the specific use of the parcel. For example, retail business has a commercial taxable rate which differs from office space. Agricultural land tax is based on grazing classifications, irrigation, and type of usage. Agricultural land, generally, has a low tax rate. Commercial land, which holds a business of some type is assessed a higher tax rate. Homesites are taxed based on their assessed value. It makes sense that land zoned for agriculture but used commercially needs to be reclassified to be assessed fairly.  As a commissioner I will work closely with the Assessor’s office to ensure proper taxes are collected fairly and equitably, based on state statutes.

 

Sales tax revenue is generated by a variety of subcategories which include the consumption of utilities, purchase of services, and wholesale and retail spending.  Much of that is collected from purchases by residents but a great boost in the revenue is brought in by travelers and tourists. When sales decrease, tax revenues decrease, and the budget takes a hit. The current COVID-19 pandemic shows how easily that source can be shut down.  The closing of restaurants, bars, and gathering places which began March 17 means the county could lose tens of thousands of dollars in sales taxes. Through judicious management, there was a surplus of roughly $1.4 million carried forward from 2019 to the 2020 budget, but this trend may not necessarily continue.  Unforeseen events like the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown or a summer fire could reduce sales tax collections, forcing the county to dig into the surplus.

 

To maintain tax revenue, opportunities for spending in Huerfano County must be increased. The county should encourage more retail businesses and industry by providing incentives for startups of new business that would offer goods and services that could only be found locally. I would work with the Small Business Development Center and other agencies to establish enterprise zones to encourage businesses to relocate to Huerfano County with tax-favored incentives and low interest loans.  Having successfully managed millions of dollars of clients’ assets through three economic downturns over the last 20 years, I have the fiscal experience to manage such situations, analyze the best options, and make tough business decisions for the good of the county.

 

Sales tax revenue is generated by a variety of subcategories which include the consumption of utilities, purchase of services, and wholesale and retail spending.  Much of that is collected from purchases by residents but a great boost in the revenue is brought in by travelers and tourists. When sales decrease, tax revenues decrease, and the budget takes a hit. The current COVID-19 pandemic shows how easily that source can be shut down.  The closing of restaurants, bars, and gathering places which began March 17 means the county could lose tens of thousands of dollars in sales taxes. Through judicious management, there was a surplus of roughly $1.4 million carried forward from 2019 to the 2020 budget, but this trend may not necessarily continue.  Unforeseen events like the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown or a summer fire could reduce sales tax collections, forcing the county to dig into the surplus.

 

To maintain tax revenue, opportunities for spending in Huerfano County must be increased. The county should encourage more retail businesses and industry by providing incentives for startups of new business that would offer goods and services that could only be found locally. I would work with the Small Business Development Center and other agencies to establish enterprise zones to encourage businesses to relocate to Huerfano County with tax-favored incentives and low interest loans.  Having successfully managed millions of dollars of clients’ assets through three economic downturns over the last 20 years, I have the fiscal experience to manage such situations, analyze the best options, and make tough business decisions for the good of the county.

 

How can we increase tax revenue in Huerfano County?