$16.1 million in budget cuts

People so often forget the impact of our County Commissioners and city council on children, families, and schools. The school board members are not the only ones who impact our lives.

Jeffco happens to be one of the handful of counties around the state who has not de-Bruced. We are grateful for Commissioners Dahlkemper, Tighe, and Szabo for finally looking at this issue.

It’s time to stop kicking the can down the road, our commissioners need to address the de-Brucing and ask voters’ permission to keep surplus revenue over the TABOR cap to reinvest in public safety, roads and other county-wide services and programs. Because it’s not been done yet, our county faces cuts of $16.1 million in services.

If the referred ballot measure CC (to de-Bruce the state) passes this November, Jeffco basically becomes a donor county – we would send our tax dollars to others. Pretty ridiculous, especially when even the most conservative counties have been smart enough to take care of this previously.

Rumors from the dark side have already started flying about this potential initiative (someone who REALLY doesn’t understand math called it an 18% increase. FALSE, FALSE, FALSE!!!) This initiative would permit the county to retain and spend the full amount of county taxes, grants, and all other revenue collected and received from all sources in 2019 and each subsequent year, by returning to the county’s authorized mill levy (about $9 a month/$113 year for a home valued at $429,000 a year) to fund the cost of county governmental operations.

How does it impact kids, schools, and families?

The Jeffco Sheriff donates SRO services to our schools (a value of about $2 Million per year in staff and trainings that Jeffco Schools cannot afford and would not be a possibility if our law enforcement partners were not donating these services.) As we studied this on the Safety and Security Task Force and ongoing in the Safety Study Group Committee we still serve on, Jeffco is unique in this donation from law enforcement but it is a priority due to being the district with so many tragedies.

Also keep in mind this impacts all county services: Jeffco Center for Mental Health, Tobacco Free Jeffco, child care assistance, food assistance, housing assistance, medical assistance, library services, 4H programs, and WIC. These are just a few that are tied to services directly impacting children and their families. School issues are tied to the public safety category but roads also impact school transportation as well as all of us personally.

SJK will be addressing the commissioners regarding these issues and we invite you to do so as well!

Please join us on July 23rd at 8 a.m. in the Hearing Room on the first floor of the Jeffco Administration and Courts Building at 100 Jefferson Parkway in Golden to share your thoughts with the commissioners! Can’t attend? Email the commissioners at: https://bit.ly/2NOiN3w 

Jeffco is one of only a handful of counties that has not yet de-Bruced – or asked voters’ permission to keep surplus revenue over the TABOR cap to reinvest in public safety, roads and other county-wide services and programs. For more about the county’s budget challenges, please visit: https://bit.ly/2XVKbAm

This is an excellent link you need to see –

https://www.jeffco.us/3839/Financial-Challenges-for-Jeffco

More information and links from Commissioner Dahlkemper here:

Jeffco is a great place to live, work and play – and we want to keep it that way!

However, our county is facing $16.1 million in budget cuts in 2020. Those cuts include the potential loss of 640 county jail beds over the next two years, resulting in the early release of felons and no place to house inmates from surrounding cities. 

What gives? The economy is strong. The population is booming. Other counties are thriving. Why is Jeffco behind?

The county’s work – public safety, roads and more – is funded largely by property taxes. Jeffco is one of only a handful of counties that has not yet de-Bruced or asked voters to keep dollars above our TABOR cap. TABOR limits what the county can collect and spend. The result: the demand is outpacing revenues – even with cost-saving efforts.

Jeffco commissioners will consider ballot language on Tuesday, July 23, that would ask Jeffco voters whether to de-Bruce to fully fund critical services:
• public safety,
• road maintenance and construction,
• maintenance of public facilities, and
• other services for Jeffco residents.

No decision has been made, and your county commissioners want to know your opinion!

Please join us on July 23 at 8 a.m. in the Hearing Room on the first floor of the Jeffco Administration and Courts Building at 100 Jefferson Parkway in Golden to share your thoughts during public comment!

Can’t attend? Email the commissioners here

Read more about the county’s budget challenges here