Plunging gross receipts tax revenue to blame for cuts

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AZTEC — San Juan County is facing a $3.7 million budget shortfall this fiscal year and has made adjustments to address the shortfall.

These adjustments include $400,000 in salary savings through staff turnover and cutting $1.6 million total from the operating budgets of county departments, according to finance director Jim Cox.

The county also used bond funds to reimburse the general fund for work on McGee Park.

The San Juan County Commission approved the budget adjustments during its Tuesday meeting.

The budget shortfall was caused by a decrease in gross receipts tax revenue. Cox said it is uncertain how much gross receipts tax revenue the county will see in the remaining six months of the fiscal year.

He said the November revenue was 11 percent less than fiscal year 2018, and the December revenue was 11.9 percent less than the previous fiscal year. The county had budgeted for approximately the same amount of gross receipts tax in fiscal year 2019 that it saw in fiscal year 2018.

“I feel comfortable that we do have enough contingency in play that we will be OK for this fiscal year,” Cox said.

County Manager Mike Stark said the county is experiencing a greater decline in tax  revenue than some other local governments.

He said Farmington’s gross receipts tax revenue is down 3 percent, and Kirtland has seen an 8.7 percent reduction in its gross receipts tax revenue. Meanwhile, Bloomfield is seeing a 5.1 percent increase in its gross receipts revenue and Aztec’s revenue has increased 10 percent, Stark told the County Commission.

“We, by far, have seen the largest decline,” Stark said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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