Arapahoe County is Facing a Significant Budget Shortfall Starting in 2025

After years of insufficient tax revenues combined with a continued increase in demand for services, Arapahoe County faces a choice - and is asking for your input.

We’re asking residents to consider either reducing or eliminating many essential County services or to consider a couple of alternative funding sources to sustain these services.

Your feedback is essential so please read all of the information carefully and then let us know what you think. Please register and participate through our interactive website.

The Bottom Line

Why is There a Budget Shortfall?

Despite increased property taxes overall, the portion which Arapahoe County collects has steadily fallen even as demand for services has increased. More details can be found in our Resource Center but here is the bottom line on why revenues have fallen.

  • Arapahoe County only receives about $32 per month for a home valued at $500,000 to fund all your County services
  • In 2024, TABOR limitations forced the County to reduce its share of property taxes by 29 percent leaving over $74 million uncollected this year
  • One-time federal dollars used in the past to cover previous budget shortfalls have dried-up

Budget Impacts

Services across every office and department would be impacted as listed in our Resource Center. Here are just a few examples:

The Sheriff's Office could see cuts up to $12 million, affecting crime prevention and response.

  • The investigative team would lose eight full-time staff, leading to fewer arrests.
  • Some neighborhoods and patrol areas would no longer have 24/7 coverage.
  • Response time would increase in the unincorporated parts of the County.
  • Co-responders who help people in a mental health crisis would be eliminated.
  • Full-time school resource officers would be reduced by five.

The Public Works and Development Department could be cut by about $3.7 million, affecting road safety, quality, and congestion and the $316.6 million of deferred maintenance and needed transportation projects would remain unaddressed.

  • Forty percent of roadways the County maintains are rated in “poor” or “very poor” condition - more budget cuts would lead to further deterioration.
  • Snow removal and street sweeping routes would be reduced and pothole repair would become a lower priority.
  • New bike and pedestrian projects would get cut entirely – further jeopardizing safety.

The Human Services, Public Health and Community Resources Departments could see $4.7 million in combined reductions, affecting vulnerable populations and our entire community.

  • Homeless prevention and response programs would be eliminated.
  • Support to keep older adults in their homes would be cut.
  • Funding to support affordable housing construction and services would be severely limited.
  • Up to 60 positions in human services would be eliminated, impacting child and adult abuse and neglect investigations and safety net services such as substance abuse, domestic violence, and food insecurity.
  • Three environmental health positions, focused on inspecting the safety of our restaurants, child care centers, and pools, would be cut.

Budget Options

There are three basic alternatives the County is potentially considering and would like to hear your opinion before making a decision.

Funding for Essential Services (“County Property Tax”)
Without imposing a new tax, ask voters to approve a ballot measure permitting Arapahoe County to raise its mill levy back to its pre-TABOR level, costing the owner of a $500,000 home about $13 more per month and providing the County about $74 million each year.

New Funding for Essential Services (“County Sales Tax”)
Ask voters to approve a ballot measure adding a new 0.25 percent sales tax in Arapahoe County that is estimated to cost the average county household about $4.30 per month and raise about $45 million each year.

Cuts to Essential Services
Make $35 million in immediate cuts to essential services such as public safety, roads and homelessness prevention and response programs. Leave the $316.6 million of deferred maintenance and unmet needs affecting road safety, quality and congestion unaddressed.

Property Tax Funding Exercise

Sales Tax Funding Exercise