With a simple discussion last Tuesday, Park County’s Commissioners preserved the future for specific use 1-cent sales taxes in Park County.

Facing a nearly $ 2 million projected budget deficit, the commissioners are struggling for ways to fund ongoing expenditures and badly needed infrastructure projects.

Despite the necessity of replacing the bridge on County Road YXD at a price tag of $400,000 and having unspent monies from the additional 1-cent sales tax, the commissioners chose to not use those funds, but to dip into their reserves to replace the bridge.

An excellent decision.

The primary reason the 1-cent specific use sales tax passed was because it was “specific use.”

Specific projects were delineated. Voters could see the need. When sufficient funds had been collected to pay for those specific projects, the tax ended.

It wasn’t “give us the money and trust us to spend it.”

The county is facing some rough financial times. Dipping into the reserves and then finding a way to replenish those monies in times of declining revenues is not a pretty picture.

The commissioners will conduct a public hearing on July 8 to present the budget and will vote the next day on final approval of the budget.

It is fortunate that past commissions were prudent in passing conservative budgets so there is a reserve to utilize.

We commend the Park County Commissioners for not taking the easy way out by spending unused 1-cent tax monies on projects that were necessary but not outlined as specific use projects.

That decision will make the passage of specific use taxes much easier in the future.

John Malmberg

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