Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson
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2012 Adopted Budget - $302,326,879

The Adopted 2012 Larimer County budget was prepared in compliance with state statute, generally accepted budgeting principles, funding agency requirements, and the budget priorities and directions of the Board of County Commissioners. The Net Operating budget for 2012 is $230,786,024 which is a 5.2% decrease from the 2011 Original Budget and a 10.5% decrease from the 2011 Revised Budget. Major objectives for the budget process for this year were as follows:

  1. The Commissioners set the "Price of County Government" by identifying the total discretionary funds available to finance the 2012 budget and set the proportions that would be available for the key Results Areas:
    • Public Safety
    • Transportation
    • Health and Well-Being
    • Jobs Creation and Economic Vitality
    • Environment and Natural Resources
    • General Governmental Services
    • Preparing for Growth
  2. The Commissioners Prioritized Funding for Services - As guidance to the County Manager for preparing the 2012 budget, the Board reviewed all services, categorized and prioritized them with respect to receiving discretionary funding increases. Services were evaluated based on the following criteria:
    • Requirement or Need to Provide a Service - Mandated vs. Non-Mandated
    • Impact of the Service on the Community - Performance in Addressing Basic Health, Safety or Welfare
    • Relational Impacts of Providing the Service - Relationships to Other Community Services
    • Citizen Priority of Providing the Service - Importance and Degree of Emphasis
    • County Commissioner Priority of Providing the Service - Importance and Degree of Emphasis
    • The Degree that the Service Embodies County Values - Partnering, Collaboration and Prevention

    Results of 2012 Service Prioritization (higher scores means higher priority)

  3. Overall Budget Strategy - As guidance to the County Manager for preparing the 2011 budget, the Board identified the goal of reducing reliance on property taxes across all services by an average of 4% due to the expected lower taxable property value in 2012. The Board identified a goal of reducing reliance on property taxes by 8% over two years (2011 and 2012 budgets) due to falling real estate values. The Board also requested that the County Manager recommend any proposals that would reduce costs or further the priorities of the Board.
  4. Following the prioritization of services, all services were then assigned funding limitations by the Commissioners as follows (Increase or Decrease is from 2011 Adopted Budget Levels):
    Result/Outcome Category Highest Priority Services Mid-Priority Services Lowest Priority Services
    Health and Well Being Services 1.5% Decrease 2.5% Decrease 0-4% Decrease
    Public Safety Services 1.5% Decrease 2.5% Decrease 4% Decrease
    Environment and Natural Resources Services 0-1.5% Decrease 2.5% Decrease 0-4% Decrease
    Transportation Services 0-1.5% Decrease 2.5% Decrease 4% Decrease
    Planning for Growth Services 0% Decrease 0% Decrease 0% Decrease
    Economic Vitality Services 1.5% Decrease 2.5% Decrease 4% Decrease
    Statutory General Government Services 1.5% Decrease 2.5% Decrease 4% Decrease
    Internal Services and Housekeeping Accounts 2.5% Decrease 2.5% Decrease 2.5% Decrease
  5. The Commissioners also identified additional requirements that the budget must address:
    • The budget must maintain adequate fund balances in major operating funds.
    • The budget must address, to the extent resources are available, the priorities identified in Commissioners Work Plan and Strategic Plan.
    • The budget shall not commit Larimer County to providing programs or levels of service that cannot be reasonably sustained in light of projected resources.
  6. The budget shall be prepared incorporating the County objectives of:
    • Maintaining employee compensation at the 50th percentile goal.
    • Preventing inflation for eroding the purchasing power of operating budgets.
    • Providing for the reasonable and timely replacement of equipment and software.

Budget Documents

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Copies of the 2012 Adopted Budget are available at the Larimer County Budget Office, 200 West Oak Street, Fort Collins, Colorado (phone 498-7017). Copies are also sent to local public libraries, local radio & television stations and local newspapers.

If you you would like to make comments on the Larimer County Budget, comments may be:

  • E-mailed to the County Commissioners at
  • Mailed to the County Commissioners, PO Box 1190, Fort Collins, CO 80522
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