Aspen City Council eyes 2016 proposed budget | AspenTimes.com

Aspen City Council eyes 2016 proposed budget

Staff report

The Aspen City Council will meet in a work session tonight to discuss the 2016 proposed budget.

The meeting will provide an overview of the proposal and focuses specifically on the budget's general fund, asset-management plan and internal service funds.

As for real estate transfer taxes, of which 1 percent belongs to the housing-development fund and 0.5 percent to the Wheeler Opera House fund, the projected 2016 figures of $8 million and $4.3 million are less than this year's forecasted budget of $8.4 million and $4.5 million, respectively.

The projected 2.1 percent city sales tax — excluding the 0.3 percent tax for public education — for 2016 is 4 percent, which is 1.4 percent down from this year's forecast of 5.4 percent.

The lodging tax, which is made up of 1.5 percent tourism-promotion fund and 0.5 percent transportation fund, also is expected to fall significantly from this year's 7.5 percent projection to 4 percent in 2016.

Other changes include a 3 percent increase in applications and development-review services to the city's Engineering Department as well as a pay increase for staff.

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For the Clerk's Office, the proposal seeks a 25 percent reduction for liquor- and marijuana-license transfers, per state regulations.

For water and electric utilities, the city intends to discuss rate increases for availability and demand-based charges during a future council meeting.