Extra caution was used for Star Valley’s 2021 budget and it’s showing dividends with the 2022 financial plan.
The town council was watchful because of expected revenue shortfalls from the pandemic and the dividends came from the influx of unexpected tourism dollars and federal money to offset COVID losses.
Star Valley has a $10.5 million budget for 2022. Its budget for 2021 was $7.6 million. The $10.5 million budget includes many funds, including those that are restricted — can only be used for limited purposes; the town’s rainy day fund; and court funds.
The precautions with the 2021 budget have resulted in $7.9 million being brought forward into the 2022 budget.
Additional anticipated revenue for 2022 includes $750,000 from state income tax; increases in sales tax collections with continued robust, year-round tourism; area mobile home park improvements resulting in more rentals and the accompanying tax collections; a continued increase in the number of building permits. The town will also receive $275,000 in both 2022 and 2023 from the Arizona CARES Act.
Star Valley has allocated $1.9 million for its capital improvement fund, which can be used for more park improvements, updating and maintaining town hall, and other projects. The money the town gets from the Highway Users Revenue Fund goes to road improvements, including the cost of putting in streetlights along SR 260.
About 10% of the general fund budget goes to personnel, including town staff and contracted services. Star Valley has only three staff members: town manager and attorney Tim Grier; assistant town manager and finance administrator Chancy Nutt; and clerk Edie Chapin. It contracts with the Town of Payson for building permit services, which includes plan reviews and inspections, as well as for law enforcement and animal control. The water department’s operation is also done on a contract service basis.