$10 million hit feared if propositions pass, city manager warns

The city of Grand Junction plans to budget for flat or decreased revenues in the 2011 city budget.

City Manager Laurie Kadrich said there are some indications of an upward trend in revenue. But she told Grand Junction City Council members during a retreat Saturday at the Grand Junction Regional Airport she’s not convinced that trend will hold for next year.

The current city budget year is expected to end with sales tax revenue 4.4 to 6 percent below 2009 collections, according to city documents.

The passage of Proposition 101 and Amendments 60 and 61 in November could pose another problem for city finances, Kadrich said. The proposition would restrict tax collections on various items, ranging from telecommunication services to leased and rented vehicles, and the amendments would address property tax reductions and restrict bonding and local abilities to take on debt.

“We’re looking at a $10 million impact to the general fund if the ballot initiatives pass,” Kadrich said.

Kadrich said the city will keep the initiatives in mind in alternative scenarios as the budget process progresses. Service reductions and staff reductions related to service changes across the city would be likely if the ballot initiatives pass, Kadrich said.

Council members said they want people to know what the initiatives may do to the city budget. Council member Gregg Palmer said he’s not sure people will trust council members to be the messengers, and he worries about misinformation from other sources.

“Somehow the message has to get out how damaging this is,” Palmer said.

Council member Tom Kenyon said he has heard polling on Proposition 101 and the amendments is evenly split between supporters and opponents.

“There’s probably nothing more important on the ballot,” Kenyon said.

Council members asked to have a resolution presented to them by the next council workshop that would outline their opposition to the ballot measures.


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