Tooele County’s tentative budget for 2022 shows a 6.7% net increase for expenses to provide municipal type services exclusively to unincorporated areas of the county.
The tentative budget for the municipal services budget for 2022 shows $9.1 million in expenses compared to $8.6 million in 2021, a 6.7% increase.
The budget shows a decline of $500,000 in expenses as the state pass through grant for Deseret Unmanned Aerial System, the nonprofit corporation created jointly by Tooele and Box Elder Counties for economic development through the exploration and recruitment of UAS industries, expired.
The 2022 municipal services fund budget also reflects a $400,000 decrease in the transfer to the general fund for capital projects, and a $10,000 decrease in animal control expenses.
The municipal services budget also shows an increase of $552,900 for economic development. That increase reflects a plan to add $500,000 to the budget for local economic development grants as well as add a full-time economic development director to the county’s staff.
The breakout budget for the economic development budget line shows new expenses for 2022 of $77,560 for salaries and $45,340 for benefits.
The tentative budget also shows an increase of 17% in the transfer for administrative fee costs from the municipal services fund to the general services fund. This transfer is based on the estimated percentage of each department’s budget that they spend on services or in support of services exclusively to unincorporated areas of the county.
State law requires that municipal service costs factor in administrative costs, including an appropriate portion of the salary for elected and appointed officials related to their involvement in providing municipal-type services.
The percentage is different for each department. The administrative fee for the auditor, clerk, executive and human resource budgets is 3.5%. The percentage charged to the MSF for the county attorney, recorder, and GIS is 10%. The MSF is charged for 15% of the information technology department’s budget. The SF also pays 60% of the sheriff’s budget, 80% of the weed control budget and 100% of the wildland fire budget.
Counties with a population greater than 31,000 are required by state law to provide and pay for services provided exclusively or primarily to persons outside of city limits from a specific fund that is separate from the county’s general fund.
Revenue for this fund may come from taxes, fees, or other revenue collected from unincorporated areas. Federal money, like payment in lieu of taxes, may also be used for the municipal fund.
Revenue collected countywide may not be used as revenue for the municipal service fund.
The largest source of revenue for the municipal service fund is sales tax.
The tentative 2022 budget shows sales tax revenue for the municipal service fund at $3.0 million or 33% of total revenue.
The second largest source of revenue for the municipal service fund is the municipal services property tax. Collected on all property in unincorporated areas, the municipal services property tax is expected to bring in $2.5 million in 2022 or 28% percent of the fund’s total revenue.
Property tax revenue for the municipal services fund in 2021 was budgeted at $2.3 million.
The 2022 tentative budget shows a transfer of $1.8 million from the MSF fund balance, or reserves, an increase of approximately $1 million from 2021.
At the end of 2020 the municipal service fund balance was $7.1 million, according to the county’s financial statements.
The 2022 tentative budget continues to be a working document that will be discussed in weekly open work session meetings of the County Council, according to Council chairman Tom Tripp.