The proposed 2022 budget for El Paso County calls for spending $512 million, including $15 million it’s asking to keep in excess revenue above Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights limits to spend on roads and parks projects. The county will refund $7.1 million in TABOR money to taxpayers.

The budget, presented to county commissioners Oct. 4, contains $69 million in American Rescue Plan Act money to shore up the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the $512 million total, $159 million is discretionary, the county said in a news release. That money funds elections and services, such as law enforcement. The balance would be spent on mandated spending, such as by the Department of Human Services.

The budget includes $462,000 in additional funding for the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office for more staffing as the office has received criticism for being understaffed, with attorneys departing in significant numbers in the last year.

The release said Public Health would receive an additional $150,000 in funding in 2022 as the pandemic continues to claim lives.

The county’s original budget adopted for 2021 totaled $400.2 million, according to the county’s website.

To comment, attend a commissioner meeting: Oct. 19, Oct. 21, Nov. 16 and Dec. 7. All meetings begin at 9 a.m. at Centennial Hall, 200 S. Cascade Ave.