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Managing Town finances conservatively is a key priority of the Castle Rock Town Council.
Council on Tuesday will consider several items that further this priority, including a $228 million budget for 2020 that includes decreases in both the Town’s property tax mill levy rate and in its water rates for typical residential customers.
Council will also consider balanced five-year financial and capital project plans that will accomplish a number of important infrastructure projects in the years to come. This year marks the first time the Town Council will adopt a five-year financial plan. This extended planning period has emphasized the need for the Town to diversify its revenue streams to continue meeting our growing community’s level of service needs. This will be an important initiative for the Town over the next several months.
The Proposed 2020 Budget includes $135.9 million for operations, $67.5 million for capital improvements, and $24.6 million toward debt and transfers between funds. Improvements to the Town’s water system comprise about $40 million of the capital improvements.
Related to planned capital improvements, Town staff is recommending starting in 2020 the full implementation of the maximum supportable residential impact fees, which are paid when a new home permit is pulled to help cover the cost of needed capital projects. The recommended increase would be a .61% increase on an average value $450,000 new home, excluding recommended water system development fee increases. Full implementation initially was planned to occur in 2022, and Town Council will consider this and other alternatives Tuesday, as well.
The recommended full implementation would allow for the accomplishment of numerous transportation projects over the next five years, as well as for the accumulation of $20 million in resources toward construction of a new interchange at Interstate 25 and Crystal Valley Parkway by 2023, if partner funds are available. The recommendation would also allow for construction of two new neighborhood parks, including one planned for next year in Cobblestone Ranch.
Another financial item Town Council will consider Tuesday is lowering the Town’s property tax mill levy rate from 1.330 mills to 1.187 mills for 2020. The Town Charter caps the growth in this revenue source to 5.5% annually, so the mill levy must be lowered due to an 18% increase in property valuation within Town. The proposed rate means the owner of a median-valued home in Castle Rock ($427,537 as of May 2019) would pay $36.29 in annual Town property tax in 2020. Final adoption of the 2020 property tax mill levy is expected to occur in early December.
Full details of all of the items Council will be considering are available at CRgov.com/2020 budget.
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