First Quarter Telluride Sales Tax, RETA Revenues Increase
by Gus Jarvis
Apr 21, 2010 | 2434 views | 5 5 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TELLURIDE – Judging by first-quarter sales tax and Real Estate Transfer Assessment figures, outgoing Telluride Town Manager Frank Bell told the Telluride Town Council on Tuesday that he conservatively projects the town will bring in close to $1 million in revenues over the town’s 2010 budgeted expenditures.

Calculating figures through the end of February, Bell said sales tax figures are up 3.5 percent. “We are holding our own with respect to sales tax and we are beginning to feel pretty good about a number of summer events,” Bell said. “While sales tax is going to continue to be a bit of a crap shoot, it at least appears to have stabilized.”

The town’s first-quarter RETA figures have also substantially improved in comparison to 2009 figures. Bell said the town is already within $400,000 of what was projected for the entire year in total RETA.

“Essentially we are almost a third of the way through the year and we are close to matching [2009] RETA revenues,” Bell said. “If we didn’t get another nickel, we could get by through the remainder of the year. I am suggesting that with eight months left in the year, even averaging $200,000 a month, we will exceed RETA by over a half million dollars.”

Bell cautioned council against spending money yet, however.

“Again, I want to remind you, [RETA] has been a narcotic,” Bell said. “Like a narcotic, just because we have it again, doesn’t mean that we need to inject it. That means no spending spree on what we can do with our newfound wealth. I would urge council to keep considering that.”

Bell recommend the 2010 Budget recession plan remain in place, but advised some of the increased revenues could be put toward programs and expenditures that were cut in the 2010 budget, such as funding for the Fourth of July Celebration, a $10,000 grant for TCTV, main street flower baskets, and funding to help cover the costs of the annual hazardous materials cleanup day. All of the new expenditures that are not in the 2010 Budget would have to be approved at a mid-year budget review by town council as budget amendments.

“The remainder of whatever surpluses we get will go back to improve our reserves that were somewhat depleted during the 2008-09 budget year,” Bell said.

With the understanding that there are still a lot of questions left unanswered for the rest of the year, councilmembers seemed to agree with Bell’s budgetary recommendations. Councilmember Ann Brady suggested that if revenues keep improving that it may be possible to award town staff with a bonus at some point.

“I am in favor of bonuses for staff,” Brady said. “It would be good to reward them for their loyalty and productivity during this time.”

No official budgetary actions were taken on Tuesday. Any mid-year budget amendments to the 2010 Budget will be subject to council approval.

“I wouldn’t want to go so far as to say that we are out of the woods in terms of the economy. I don’t think that for a minute,” Bell said. “But we do have some reasonably good news, at least with respect to our budget here in Telluride, that it’s not getting any worse. In fact it’s getting better. The budget cutting worked and we don’t need to do it any more.”
Comments
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what color is sun
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April 24, 2010
in your world ms. brady????? locals losing home, losing jobs and struggling...roads are an embarrasment and on and on....

here is your bonus staff.....YOU STILL HAVE A JOB

ann..get your head out of your, well you know
FaceOnMars (nli)
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April 22, 2010
I was about to make a comment about the flower basket until reading Ann's idea to award bonuses to town staff.

While I certainly don't begrudge any town staffers from being awarded some sort of recognition of their loyalty and such, I don't believe this is an appropriate circumstance ... as we are not out of the woods. Not by a long shot.

I didn't catch the council meeting, so I don't know if the issue was raised about a "double dip" or any other event (or series thereof) which doesn't follow a "smooth trajectory" in so far as a recovery? It wasn't mentioned in the article.

I believe the world economic system is STILL extremely vulnerable to be affected by events which would otherwise simply be absorbed / accommodated by a more healthy macro economic climate. Choose your favorite natural disaster or geo-political altercation in the "right place at the right time" and it could spell out a recipie for further economic strife which could dig a hole much deeper.

Flower baskets. Let businesses get together and voluntarily contribute to any "beautification marketing endeavor". Don't rope the taxpayer into a non-essential expenditure while we're still weary of what's around the corner. Let's insure the streets get plowed and the potholes get fixed first. This is a microcosm of what has been going down on a national level for eons ... special interests chirping in the ears of the representative layer of government to further the agenda.

It is precisely because flower baskets seem trivial and innocuous enough that I would move to send ALL BUDGETARY final decisions to a town hall meeting mode to remove the special interest factors from the equation.

A municipality ought to serve the population's essential NEEDS ... rather than as a marketing arm.

are you kidding?
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April 22, 2010
BONUSES for public servants while locals are losing their homes and jobs? Did I vote wrong during the last TC election? Pleeeeeze Ann, it is OUR (and the tourists) money that you are giving to these overly paid and numerous public servants
THCPA
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April 21, 2010
Dear Ann:

In the real world people have lost their jobs, their homes, their savings, and the real wage for the average American has fallen approximately 20% after you factor in de-flationary pressures on homes and other long term investments.

The idea that wages that were frozen (and jobs not lost) should be increased in this uncertain time is idiocy of the first sort.

Cut wages, increase productivity, help the private sector-period.

Is Brady serious?
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April 21, 2010
Here's a better idea:

How about putting that money towards filling some potholes instead?