Star Valley Adopts $7.1 Million Budget Cap

Giant reserve totals 40% of spending plan despite drop in tickets

Town of Star Valley

Town of Star Valley Photo by Andy Towle. |

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The Star Valley Town Council this week adopted a $7.1 million budget for 2014-2015, which includes a huge $2.8 million reserve fund.

The budget also includes $877,460 in grants the town hopes to get, but won’t spend if it doesn’t.

The gigantic $2.8 million contingency fund will actually rise from this year’s $1.4 million, mostly due to transfers back into the fund for projects completed.

Technically, the budget for the coming fiscal year will rise by 25 percent. However, that mostly comes from the grants Star Valley may not get and transfers to the contingency fund. Not counting the transfer due to completed projects, the town managed to stash an additional $60,000 in the reserves.

Star Valley’s reserve fund totals some 40 percent of its total adopted budget. By contrast, Payson is struggling to scrape up money for reserves. The tentative Payson budget adopted this week has a roughly 2 percent general fund reserve — or about $450,000.

The $7.1 million spending cap the Star Valley council adopted this week now represents its maximum spending for the fiscal year that starts next month.

The general fund for the coming fiscal year is $2.8 million, which compares to about $13 million in neighboring Payson.

Projected SV general fund revenues include a $1.12 million transfer from the 2013-2014 capital project fund; $779,551 from photo enforcement; $587,420 from state-shared revenues (income, sales and auto taxes); $279,923 from local taxes and fees; $15,225 from licenses and permits; and $515 in miscellaneous revenue.

The Star Valley Highway Users Revenue Fund totals $214,570; the Judicial Collection Enhancement Fund is $17,150; and the Water Enterprise Fund is $201,925.

Increases include $26,123 from state-shared income taxes; an increase in the cable franchise tax of $5,680; and a decrease in photo enforcement funds of 5 percent.

On the expense side, the biggest increase totals $294,364 in the Highway User Revenue Fund, primarily from $454,166 worth of street projects.

The biggest decrease in expenses is $110,168 in the photo enforcement department, due to a drop in costs for salaries, benefits and purchased professional services. So despite the projected decrease in money collected, the program should prove even more profitable for the town.

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