El Paso County expecting less state funds in 2021

Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 9:26 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - El Paso County leaders are expecting to get less state funding in 2021 due to the pandemic, and they are presenting their proposed 2021 budget during a 9 a.m. meeting Tuesday.

If you’d like to view the meeting now, click here. The meeting is also live-streamed on the El Paso County Facebook page.

Commissioners Chairman Mark Waller says the most notable difference between this year and next year will be trying to account for more savings to make up for an expected cut in state funds.

“The governor has put out signals to us that there is a pretty significant gap between spending at the state level and revenue coming in,” Waller said, referring to financial strain prompted by the pandemic.

Locally, El Paso County’s sales tax revenue did not take a hit from the pandemic like expected. Leaders prepared to see those numbers drop up to 12 percent from people being under financial strain, but an initial decline of just 4 percent was noticed. Now, sales tax revenues are up 2 percent compared to before the pandemic, and leaders say that’s attributed mainly to online shopping over the past several months.

“We are thankful that revenues are coming in much better than we expected they would be, but that certainly doesn’t mean we are through this crisis at all. We recognize the impact this has had on local businesses," Waller added.

The budget is expected to be finalized by the end of November, which is before local governments will know how much state funds they will receive come January.