6A: Dedicated funding to support the Aspen Ambulance District | AspenTimes.com

6A: Dedicated funding to support the Aspen Ambulance District

Snowmass voters approved ballot measure 2C.
Getty Images

The Aspen Ambulance District is proposing an property tax increase up to $2,443,901 annually in ballot issue 6A. 

Pitkin County commissioners approved the ballot question last August, which would raise the mill levy rate by 0.599 to 1.10 in the district.

For property owners, this increase would calculate to $110 for every $100,000 of a property’s assessed value.

The ambulance district is governed by Pitkin County, and it contracts services with Aspen Valley Hospital. Their purpose is to  provide pre-hospital emergency services 24/7. A team of 32 EMTs, paramedics, and critical paramedics comprise the ambulance service.

Voters in favor of 6A argue that the emergency services provided in the Aspen Ambulance District go beyond typical medical care by answering calls related to fires, auto accidents, and recreational accidents. They call for supporting the emergency service workers who serve the district all day, year-round. 

In the Pitkin County TABOR Notice outlining voter-submitted pros and cons for the ballot issue, supporters said: “They do prevention and education such as teaching CPR and AED classes, supporting local wellness fairs, and providing stand-by medical support for special events and school athletic events. When Pitkin County public health set up the COVID-19 vaccination site in the music tent parking lot, ambulance district paramedics and EMTs were there every day.”

An argument against 6A points to the last time the Ambulance District asked voters to increase the mill levy in 2014. They say that the emergency service needs of the district have not changed much since then, and that funding should be found alternatively: “The district needs to adjust its operations and/or patient/customer billings to balance its budget rather than increase its mill levy and tax revenue by a factor of 2.2.”

In September, the Aspen Valley Hospital Board of Directors expressed support for the ballot measure. 

All of Aspen and unincorporated areas including Ashcroft, the Maroon Bells, Red Mountain, Independent Pass, and Woody Creek fall under the district’s purview. Between year-long residents, average daytime visitors, and daytime workers, the ambulance authority serves a population of 24,138 people. 

Voters registered in the district can vote for or against ballot issue 6A in the general election on Nov. 8. A sample ballot is available at the Pitkin County Elections website: pitkinvotes.com.