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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Largest County Budget Contributors, Part 5 of 5

Pass-through Monies  

Hopefully over the last four posts it becomes easier to see why our county’s budget is higher than most counties around the state. The most obvious reason is that 40 percent of all Utahns live here in Salt Lake County. Compared to other counties around the state, our parks, recreation center, arts, human services, and library system are second to none. There is another large portion of our budget that voters don’t see the county managing. It’s no small number, either. In Salt Lake County, 20 percent of the budget includes pass-through dollars to other agencies.

On August 4, 2014 the Office of the State Auditor announced that a taxing entity, when imposing a tax, must recognize that tax revenue for financial reporting purposes. That means that all of the tax revenue that goes to the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), Redevelopment Agencies (RDA`s), and other entities will now be on the County`s books. Although this directive by the Auditor raises Salt Lake County`s budget a great deal, the county won`t see any of the money, because we pass it through directly to other agencies.

Total pass-through dollars: $210,092,453

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Largest County Budget Contributors, Part 4 of 5

Human Services and Mental Health

One of the most important responsibilities a county has is to provide mental health services to those most in need. In addition to mental health, Salt Lake County is a leader in providing services for our aging, youth, and substance abuse populations. The vast majority of these funds come from federal and outside sources. For example, in our Aging Services Department, the budget is $19,299,594 with $9.4 million coming from outside sources and $9.8 million coming from county funding.

Some of Salt Lake County Human Services responsibilities are:

19 Senior Centers. The following are located within District 3:
 - Taylorsville Senior Center
 - West Jordan Senior Center
 - Murray Heritage Senior Center

The Harman Home

Health Department
 - A new health clinic will be built in District 3 at the West Jordan government complex

Environmental Health Building in District 3 located in Murray

20 Libraries. We have one of the best library systems in the nation! You can find the following county libraries within District 3:
 - Headquarters of the Salt Lake County Library system at the Viridian in West Jordan
 - Taylorsville Library
 - West Valley Library

Aging Services

Mental Health Treatment

Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Criminal Justice Services

Youth Services

Total Aging, Library, Health Department, Mental Health: $247,151,599

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Largest County Budget Contributors, Part 3 of 5

ZAP, Community, and Culture

Salt Lake County is home to Utah’s premier art, cultural, and recreational getaways. With 21 recreational centers, golf courses, 104 parks, the Hogle Zoo, Tracy Aviary, Rose Wagner Theater, Discovery Gateway, the Salt Palace, equestrian park and the aquarium (just to name a few), voters in Salt Lake County have repeatedly approved additional funds for recreation and arts. Among those additional funds are those that come from the ZAP tax.

Every 10 years the ZAP tax comes up for renewal and must be approved by the voters. This amounts to one penny of every 10 dollars in sales tax revenue devoted to Zoo Arts and Parks/open space.

After voters approve the ZAP revenue, the county projects that revenue and then bonds for that amount so they can begin the new projects. It is important to note that a great deal of the recreation and cultural facilities produce funds for the county and help pay for themselves. For example, although our golf courses for the county are profitable, they naturally still show up in our budget when it comes time to allocate funding.

Here are some of the county facilities located within District 3
Gene Fullmer Fitness and Recreation Center
Taylorsville Recreation Center
The Ice Center in Murray
Valley Regional Park
Mick Riley Golf Course
Meadow Brook Golf Course

Total ZAP, Golf, Convention Centers, Theaters: $177,405,381