Aspen voters support Ambulance tax |

Aspen voters support Ambulance tax

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The Aspen Ambulance District will receive up to $2,443,901 through a property tax increase that 3,470 voters support and 1,875 voters do not support, according to the unofficial results released at 1:50 a.m. Wednesday by the Pitkin County Elections Office.

The mill-levy rate in the district will increase from 0.501 mills to 1.1 mills, an increase of 0.599 mills. This means that for every $100,000 in assessed property value, property owners would pay $110 in this tax annually. 

A team of 32 EMTs, paramedics, and critical care paramedics comprise the department. Aspen Valley Hospital contracts services with the Aspen Ambulance District, but the district’s role has expanded into prevention, education, and emergency management. They also provide swift water rescue, high angle (rope) rescue, and special-event medical support.

“We’re super excited that the community has chosen to support us in this way. One of the goals of this mill levy was to provide stable funding, and it definitely will achieve that. I think that this vote and the margin of support really is just amazing to us,” said Gabriel Muething, director of the Aspen Ambulance District. 

The funds from the mill-levy increase will go toward continued service, as well as vehicle and equipment maintenance and replacement as needed.

“It goes entirely towards operations … medical equipment like ambulances and cardiac monitors. We really are on the cutting edge of emergency medicine in the field,” Muething said.

According to the TABOR notice, district spending shot up 18.2% since 2018 and is expected to rise. Without funds from 6A, the fiscal spending for 2023 is projected to hit $1,544,321, outpacing the district’s general fund. 

The 24/7 ambulance and emergency service operates in approximately 160 square miles of the Roaring Fork Valley. All of Aspen and unincorporated areas including Ashcroft, the Maroon Bells, Red Mountain, Independent Pass, and Woody Creek benefit from the Ambulance District’s services. 

Between year-long residents, and average numbers of daytime visitors and daytime workers, the ambulance authority serves a population of 24,138 people. 

The Aspen Ambulance District is its own taxing authority, and it is governed by the Pitkin County commissioners. 

Of seven letters to the editor related to ballot issue 6A published in The Aspen Times, only one did not support ballot measure 6A. Mike Maple wrote: “The district and its operator, Aspen Valley Hospital, needs to adjust its operations and/or patient/customer billings to balance its budget rather than seek increases in tax revenue.”

A solid majority of voters disagreed with his assessment.

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