Green River Star -

By David Martin

County projects $6-million shortfall


A projection from Sweetwater County Treasurer Robb Slaughter indicates a larger budgetary shortfall for the county than originally anticipated.

Speaking to the county commissioners Tuesday, Slaughter said projections based on data for the last six months of mineral production and pricing could mean the county may see a decline of almost $6 million in revenue than last year.

Unlike municipalities, the county receives a majority of its revenue from property taxes and mineral valuations. Slaughter said natural gas values have decreased 43 percent and oil 50 percent during the last year.Other mineral sectors haven’t been immune either. While trona has increased in value by 3 percent, surface coal valuations have dropped 20 percent and underground coal valuation increased by 10 percent.

The $6 million figure is somewhat higher than the initial projected loss, originally projected to be $5 million. The county, despite having a different funding method, faces funding problems similar to what the cities are dealing with.

“We could be in this for the long haul,” Commissioner Reid West said during the county commissioners’ meeting last week.

With the decrease in revenue, the commissioners will likely be placed in a position to make cuts to the 2016-2017 budget.

The commissioners have expressed a desire to fund the county based on revenue, while shunning the use of reserve funds to operate the county.

Commissioner Wally Johnson previously stated his belief the county should shrink with revenues if fewer dollars are flowing into county coffers.


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