Weld County honored for being ‘friendly’ to taxpayers

GREELEY — Weld County has been named the Taxpayer Friendliest Community by the American City County Exchange, a collaborative forum based in Arlington, Va., for elected officials across the country.

“We started doing research on counties across the country that were doing things right; that were cutting taxes, eliminating debt, eliminating regulations and bringing out more government transparency,” said Jon Russell, national director of the exchange. “I’m proud to give our first ever award for the taxpayer-friendliest community in the country to Weld County, Colorado.”

The exchange began requesting documents from Weld County almost 12 months ago as part of the nationwide research it was conducting on possible recipients for the award.

Some of the facts leading to Weld County receiving this award included:

  • Weld County has saved taxpayers more than $424 million in property taxes not collected due to mill-levy reductions from 2002 to 2017.
  • As of Jan. 1, Weld County’s retirement plan is more than fully funded at 103 percent, with assets totaling more than $255 million.
  • Weld County has no county sales tax, no debt and pays for projects in cash.
  • Weld County has more than $100 million in a contingency fund, which was crucial following the 2013 flood and allowed the county to make needed infrastructure repairs quickly.

“The commissioners have been diligent in our pursuit of reducing the tax burden to our constituents,” Barbara Kirkmeyer, a Weld County commissioner, said in a prepared statement. “And we will remain strong in our commitment to pay cash as we build so future generations of Weld County taxpayers will not be saddled with any debt.”