Snowmass Village hits pay dirt on tax revenue
Total fund balance ended 2021 nearly 50% higher than projected
Snowmass Village’s town coffers ended up in a good place at the end of 2021 — a really, really good place, according to a financial update at Monday night’s Town Council meeting.
A banner year for tax revenue (plus some expenditures that got pushed to 2022 from the 2021 budget) yielded an end-of-year total fund balance of almost $72.5 million across all of the town’s funds. That’s more than 50% higher than the budgeted total fund balance of more than $47.4 million that was set in the 2021 budget, according to an unaudited year-end financial summary included in this week’s council packet.
“The good news is that in 2021 all funds increased in their fund balances,” town Finance Director Marianne Rakowski told the council. “These numbers reflect that we are financially in very good shape, and based on the sales tax numbers that we are receiving so far for January, it appears that we’re continuing that trend into 2022.”
The $25 million abundance rolls into reserves and either “goes back to the pots it was allocated against or it goes into the funds available in each fund,” depending on where each slice of revenues and expenses came from, according to Rakowski.
Those funds will be available for the development of the 2023 budget, Town Manager Clint Kinney said.
By dollar amount, the town’s largest revenue breadwinners were the general fund, real estate transfer tax (RETT) fund and marketing and special events fund, all of which scored millions more than expected.
The general fund netted nearly $24.9 million in revenue, almost 32% higher than the projected revenue of almost $18.9 million. Expenses totaled $19.3 million, about 10% less than the projected $21.5 million.
The RETT banked $8.3 million in revenues, more than triple the budgeted $2.7 million. Expenses rang in at around $3.5 million, about 15% less than the budgeted $4.1 million.
The marketing and special events fund nabbed more than $6.4 million in revenues, about 39% more than the projected $4.6 million. Expenses added up to around $5.2 million, which was roughly 11% less than the projected spending of almost $5.9 million.
The capital improvement project fund was the one other fund that netted a seven-figure variance between the projected and actual total fund balance, but that was largely due to less expenditures, not more revenue.
The fund spent only about $3.1 million, just a third of the projected $9.3 million in expenses. Revenues actually came up a bit short there: The fund netted about $6 million, which was just shy of 6% less than the projected $6.3 million.
Some revenues and expenditures have been rolled forward from 2021 to 2022 for that fund.
At the meeting on Monday, the Town Council approved on first reading a handful of amendments to the 2022 budget, including adjustments to several funds to reflect revenues and expenditures that were originally budgeted for 2021 but were not spent or received that year and which the town anticipates applying in 2022 instead.
This year’s budget was first presented in September, so the adjustments account for some changes that have occurred since that budget was firmed up last fall. Amendments also account for increased costs as well as increased revenue to cover those costs on several projects.
The Snowmass Mall Transit Center is slated to cost nearly $13.5 million more than initially planned, doubling the originally anticipated cost. The amended budget reflects that a $13.5 million federal grant could cover the difference.
Renovations of the Mountain View 1 employee housing complex will cost around $3.9 million more than budgeted “due to rising construction and material costs,” according to an agenda summary for the discussion.
The town will transfer an additional $700,000 from the excise tax fund to the capital improvement project fund for the Mountain View project, and the capital improvement fund also will need to borrow about $3.2 million from the general fund, which will be paid back from the housing fund coffers in 2023, 2024 and 2025.
A Department of Local Affairs grant for phase two of a fiber optic cable installation project came in about $144,000 higher than planned. Increased expenditures on the project mirror the increased revenues from the grant, which now totals just over $644,000.
The amendments also reflect the revenue and expenditure for the purchase and sale of a home in The Crossings in 2022 and revise the Snowmass Inn Fund to indicate that the town is now responsible for management of Snowmass Inn operations.
Most of the revisions council approved for 2022 were carryovers from the previous year’s budget. The abundant funds that ended up in the coffers when the town hit sales tax pay dirt in 2021 will be available in 2023, Kinney said.