DENVER
01/26/2011 02:35 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Scott Gessler Says He'll Keep $3.5 Million Slated To Balance The Budget

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has decided not to transfer $3.5 million from his office's budget to the state's general fund to help balance a billion-dollar deficit.

Gessler told the Denver Post, which first reported the story, that he objected to the use of cash funds--the funds in question are generated by a business filing fees--to back-fill the state's general fund.

"These are business fees that businesses pay in for business services," Gessler told the Post. "I understand that they're used to help elections. But I don't think that these business fees should be used for general tax dollars, and that's what would happen if they're transferred to the general fund."

The idea to transfer the money to the state's general fund originated with Gessler's predecessor, Bernie Buescher, who said in October that "[the Secretary of State's] challenge is to continue to provide the level of service that our customers have come to expect using fewer resources."

"Because the Department of State isn't funded through General Fund tax dollars, we're following suit with many of our customers by doing more with less," Buescher said in boasting of a 2011-12 budget request that was nearly $6 million smaller than the one he inherited when he was appointed in 2009.

Buescher thought that the best use of his budget surplus was to make it available to help fill the massive 2011-2012 budget deficit.

Republicans have long-accused Democrats of over-reliance on cash-transfers to balance the state budget, dismissing them as temporary accounting gimmicks.

Gessler says he wants to use some of the money to fight identity theft, an increasingly prominent problem in Colorado.