Mil levy’s on ballot for Gilpin Rec Center and Sheriff’s Office

No Social Security Tax break for Gilpin County employees

By Randy Beaudette

On September 3, 2020, Gilpin Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) held a brief special online meeting that discussed topics such as ballot questions for the upcoming election and the withholding of the FICA tax from Gilpin Employees.

Board-Chair Gail Watson opened up the meeting promptly at 9:00 am along with Commissioners Ron Engels and Linda Isenhart. Also online were County Manager Abel Montoya, County Attorney Brad Benning, Deputy Clerk Sharon Cate, and members from the Senior Leadership Team.

Agenda Changes

Gilpin County Sheriff Kevin Armstrong requested that a grant application review be added. Commissioner Isenhart also added the shooting range lease agreement renewal.

Property Tax Ballot Questions

County Attorney Brad Benning presented the finalized resolutions concerning the ballot questions for November’s ballot.  Resolution 20-18, if they are passed, will place a 2.57 mill property tax increase for Parks and Recreation, with no mil levy increase for capital improvement projects. This ballot measure has a three-year sunset end. Gilpin County Commissioners approved Resolution 20-18, the Parks and Recreation Department ballot question.

County Attorney Brad Benning also presented the finalized Resolution 20-17, which if passed, will place a 2.27 mill increase for the Sheriff’s Office operation budget with no mil levy increase included for capital improvement. This ballot measure also has a three-year sunset ending. Gilpin County Commissioners approved Resolution 20-19, the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Department ballot question.

Officer Grant Request

Gilpin County Sheriff Kevin Armstrong announced that a grant request been initiated to assist officers during difficult times. The grant will allow the Sheriff’s office to enter into a contract with First Responders Trauma Councilors who specialize in assisting Sheriff employees dealing with mental issues such as PTSD, substance abuse, or depression. Currently the Sheriff’s Department utilizes Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for such issues, but law enforcement often encounters situations that require specialized treatment above that which EAP offers. First Responders Trauma Councilors offer that next level of treatment. Matching funds from the County are not required for this very worthwhile grant application. The Gilpin County BoCC voted unanimously to support the grant application process for this very important, much needed service.

No Social Security Tax Break

President Trump issued a series of executive orders to help financially distressed Americans. One of the Executive orders suspends the collection of Social Security (FICA) payroll taxes from September 1 until the end of the year to provide larger paychecks for workers making less than $4,000 for any bi-weekly pay period (that’s $2,000 per week, or $104,000 per year). This defers the FICA tax until 2021 at which time the employee will possibly have to pay the tax back to the Federal Government. County Manager Montoya along with advice from the Senior Leadership Team recommends that County not participate in this program and continue to withhold FICA tax from Gilpin County employees. If the 2021 repayment of FICA taxes is somehow forgiven through congressional action, the County will reimburse the FICA tax withholdings back to the employee. Gilpin County Commissioners unanimously approved the measure to continue to withhold FICA taxes from County employees.

Law Enforcement Shooting Range Lease

Gilpin County Commissioners approved a lease renewal agreement for the Law Enforcement Shooting Range as presented by Gilpin County Attorney Brad Benning. The Lease is between Goltra Ranch L.L.C., a Delaware Limited Liability Company and Gilpin County for a term of one year effective October 1, 2020. The rental term shall be $6,000 which will be payable in monthly installments of $500 per month.

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