County projecting $600,000 budget deficit

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

Curry County is projecting a $600,000 deficit this year because of dropping tax revenue.

But at $200,000 less than the budgeted deficit, it’s actually better than expected.

A 5.4 percent drop in gross receipts taxes contributed to the deficit, Finance Manager Mark Lansford told commissioners Tuesday.

Additionally, a loss of $140,000 from a state small county assistance fund and several transfers from the general fund to cover budget shortfalls have contributed, he said.

When the county operates in a deficit, it means there is not enough revenue to cover expenses and the county must dip into its reserves to balance the $10.2 million budget.

“Even though we’re proposing a deficit this year it’s not going to be a catastrophic event,” Lansford said. “The organization is sound.”

Lansford said county departments have stayed under budget and he anticipates they will remain that way for the rest of the budget year.

However recent land purchases by the county and the cost of a judicial complex needs analysis could increase the deficit beyond what he has projected.

“We’re lucky that we’re not in any worse shape than we are,” Chairman Bobby Sandoval said.

In other business commissioners:

• Approved the purchase of three lots on east Brady Avenue — 1812, 1820 and 1828 — at a price of $190,000.

• Approved an amendment to a resolution of compliance with the New Mexico Open Meetings Act, allowing for destruction of audio recordings of meetings once a meeting’s minutes have been approved.

• Special Events Center Manager Kevin Jolley said since Global Spectrum took over in April, the facility is under budget by almost $32,000. This month alone, Jolley said there are 18 days of events booked.