Mayor Gradisar presents the 2021 budget to City Council

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Downtown Pueblo around 1:30 p.m. Friday,

Downtown Pueblo around 1:30 p.m. Friday,

PUEBLO, Colo. – On Tuesday night, Mayor Nick Gradisar presented his Fiscal Year 2021 Budget to the Pueblo City Council.

“Despite the pandemic and its impacts upon health, welfare, and the economy, the City’s fiscal affairs have a firm-footing going into 2021,” said Gradisar. “Pueblo is in a strong financial situation during this pandemic. I think this budget recognizes a commitment to our city employees and the great job they are doing. We are cautiously optimistic that we will end the year strong, and 2021 will be better in part to the rebound aided by the Evraz and Pueblo Community Health Center expansions. But we are not out of the woods yet, because we don’t know when a COVD-19 vaccine will be widely available, what the Federal Government will do to provide additional aid to municipalities, and what consumer confidence will be over the coming months.”

The projected revenue for 2021 is approximately $88.4 million, a 4% reduction compared to the 2020 adopted budget. 2021 anticipates expenditures of $95.5 million. Mayor Gradisar proposed $7.1 million to be drawn from the City Reserve Funds to balance the budget.

In his letter to City Council outlining his budget on October 1, Mayor Gradisar said, “This budget reflects my view that the City is forging through this pandemic and I have cautious optimism that we can sustain the economic challenges with prudent and wise decisions.”

Highlights:

  • Estimated 1% sales and use tax increase over 2020 estimated budget.
  • Operating budgets are reduced by approximately 10%.
  • 5% expected drop in 2020 estimated sales and use tax due to COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 impacted sales tax significantly during the shutdown. Sales tax revenue rebounded positively during the summer months. (Compared to 2019, 2020 sales tax: March -11.3%, April -8.0%, May +5.6%, June +11.6%, July +6.9%, August -0.6%).
  • There will be no health insurance premium increases for 2021 because of the City’s move to a self-insurance health insurance plan.
  • Pueblo was aggressive in applying for and receiving $27.13m in grant awards.
  • Lodging tax revenue for 2020 to drop by 36%.

Budget Calendar:

  • October 13 – Presentation of the proposed formal FY 2021 budget
  • October 26 – Public Hearing of the FY 2021 Budget
  • November 9 – First reading of 2021 Appropriation Ordinances and Mill Levy certification
  • November 23 – Second reading and public hearing of 2021 Appropriation Ordinances, 2021 City Budget officially adopted

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