Pros and cons about ballot issues now being collected | AspenTimes.com

Pros and cons about ballot issues now being collected

Staff report

Local election officials are now collecting comments from the public detailing the pros and cons of eight financial ballot issues in the upcoming election on Nov. 8. The comments collected from the public will be published in the TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) notice and mailed to all voters 30 days before the election.

“A registered electorate who wishes to submit a pro or con statement regarding any of the eight financial ballot questions may submit their comments to the designated election official of each district, and the electorate must be registered in the district,” Pitkin County Clerk Janice Vos Caudill said via a statement released Monday to local media. “We are required by the Colorado constitution to publish the notice, and it is referred to by many residents when studying an issue before voting.”

Financial questions on the November ballot come from the following six districts, and comments should be emailed to the designated election official of each district as indicated below:

• Pitkin County: Kelly McNicholas Kury at kelly.mcnicholas@pitkincounty.com

• City of Aspen ballot issue: Linda Manning at linda.manning@city ofaspen.com

• Town of Basalt: Pam Schilling at pams@basalt.net

• Town of Snowmass Village: Rhonda B. Coxon at roxon@tosv.com

• Basalt Regional Library District: Barbara J. Milnor at bmilnor@basaltlibrary.org

• Snowmass Wildcat Fire Protection District: Scott Thompson at sthompson@swfpd.com

Only registered voters residing in the political subdivision and eligible to vote on the questions can submit comments on the question, and comments must include a signature where the signer is registered to vote. The deadline for written comments for the TABOR notice is Friday, Sept. 23. TABOR notices will be mailed to all registered voters no later than Friday, Oct. 7.

For more Pitkin County election information, go to http://www.pitkinvotes.com

The ballot issues read as follows:

Ballot issue 1a:

Reauthorizing county Open Space and Trails Program funding for 20 years – charter amendment and property tax levy

Shall the existing Pitkin County open space and trails property tax levy of up to 3.75 Mills be extended for twenty years, commencing with the tax year 2020 (collection to begin in 2021) and continuing thereafter through the tax year 2039;

And shall Pitkin County be entitled to collect, retain, and spend on behalf of the open space and trails program the full revenues from the property tax levy of up to 3.75 Mills regardless of whether the annual revenues from such levy exceed the revenue limitations contained in the county home rule charter, state law or the state constitution; and

Shall article xiii of the Pitkin County Home Rule Charter be amended to reauthorize and augment the open space and trails program in accordance with the provisions of resolution 100-2016?

Ballot issue 2a:

Shall town of Snowmass Village taxes be increased $510,000 annually, commencing in 2017 for collection in 2018, and by $510,000 in each of the calendar years 2018 through 2021, the final collection year to be 2022, by the imposition of a mill levy sufficient to generate such amount; such taxes to be used for the educational purpose of providing support to the Aspen School District no. 1 (Re) and to reimburse the Town of Snowmass Village for the costs of collection of such taxes imposed by Pitkin County; and provided further, that the revenues derived from such mill levy shall be collected by the town of Snowmass Village and disbursed through a trust or other nonprofit entity created by intergovernmental agreement between the Town of Snowmass Village and the Aspen School District no.1 (Re) with such trust or other nonprofit entity managed by the following named individuals for the term of the tax: Brad Stevenson, Charla Belinski, Doug Throm, Dusty Diaz, Joe Farrell, Kristen Fitzgerald, Kristin Balko, Leah Moriarty, Timothy Johnson and Wolf Gensch.

With such intergovernmental agreement providing for a method of replacement of any such individuals; and shall the proceeds of such taxes and investment income thereon be collected and spent by the town as a voter-approved revenue change in calendar years 2017 through 2021 inclusive, without regard to any spending, revenue-raising, or other limitation contained within article x, section 20 of the Colorado constitution, or any other law?

Ballot issue 2d:

City of Aspen – extension of existing 0.3% sales tax for educational purposes

Shall the city of Aspen’s existing 0.3% Sales tax for educational purposes, which is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2016, be extended through December 31, 2021; and shall the revenues from such sales taxes and the earnings thereon be collected, retained and spent as a voter-approved revenue change without limitation under article X, section 20 of the Colorado constitution (TABOR) or any other law?

Ballot issue 2e:

City of Aspen – extension of Wheeler Real Estate Transfer Tax.

Shall the City of Aspen one-half of one percent (1/2%) real estate transfer tax, earmarked for the maintenance of the Wheeler Opera House and the support of the visual and performing arts which is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2019, be extended through December 31, 2039; and shall the revenues from such real estate transfer tax and the earnings thereon be collected, retained and spent as a voter-approved revenue change without limitation under article X, section 20 of the Colorado constitution (TABOR) or any other law?

Ballot issue 2f:

Incur debt and raise taxes to acquire property

Shall town of Basalt debt be increased up to $3,100,000 with a maximum repayment cost of up to $3,800,000, and shall town taxes be increased up to $710,000 annually for the purpose of financing the cost of:

• Acquisition of approximately 2.317 acres of real property located in the town and currently owned by the roaring fork community development corporation, 1.0 acres of the western portion of said property to be made available for commercial or public purpose building development and the remaining acres of said property to be used for a town river park and supporting uses

By the issuance and payment of general obligation bonds, revenue bonds or other obligations which bonds or obligations shall bear interest at a maximum net effective interest rate not to exceed 3.00% per annum, and mature, be subject to redemption (with or without premium), and be issued, dated and sold at such time or times, at such prices (at, above or below par) and in such manner and containing such terms, not inconsistent herewith, as the town council may determine, and such debt payable from all legally available monies, including revenue derived from the town’s parks, open space and trails (“post”) 1% sales tax, amounts on deposit in the town’s general fund or other available sources, and shall ad valorem property taxes be levied in any year to pay such principal and interest without limitation as to rate and in an amount sufficient to generate the amount set forth above; and shall such tax revenues and the earnings from the investment of such bond proceeds and tax revenues be collected, retained and spent as a voter approved revenue change under article x, section 20 of the Colorado constitution or any other law?

Ballot issue 2g:

Incur debt and raise taxes to improve property

Shall town of Basalt debt be increased up to $4,120,000 with a maximum repayment cost of up to $5,050,000, and shall town taxes be increased up to $890,000 annually, such debt and taxes to be increased only in the event ballot issue 2f approved by the voters, for the purpose of financing a portion of the costs of the basalt river park improvement project, including

• The design, development and construction of a new Basalt river park and improvements to a portion of Two Rivers Road;

By the issuance and payment of general obligation bonds, revenue bonds or other obligations which bonds or obligations shall bear interest at a maximum net effective interest rate not to exceed 3.00% Per annum, and mature, be subject to redemption (with or without premium), and be issued, dated and sold at such time or times, at such prices (at, above or below par) and in such manner and containing such terms, not inconsistent herewith, as the town council may determine, and such debt payable from all legally available monies, including revenue derived from the town’s parks, open space and trails (“post”) 1% sales tax, amounts on deposit in the town’s general fund or other available sources, and shall ad valorem property taxes be levied in any year to pay such principal and interest without limitation as to rate and in an amount sufficient to generate the amount set forth above; and shall such tax revenues and the earnings from the investment of such bond proceeds and tax revenues be collected, retained and spent as a voter approved revenue change under article X, section 20 of the Colorado constitution or any other law?

Ballot issue 4a:

Shall Basalt Regional Library district taxes be increased $350,000 annually for a limited seven-year period (with such voter authorization to expire after tax collection year 2023), through a tax levy imposed at a rate sufficient to produce the amount stated above, which taxes shall be used for the purpose of sustaining and maintaining district operations and services, and building reserves for scheduled capital maintenance?

Ballot issue 5a:

Shall Snowmass Wildcat Fire Protection District debt be increased $17 million, with a repayment cost of up to $28 million, and shall district taxes be increased $1.5 million annually to pay such debt, such debt to be used for capital improvements of the district, including:

• Demolishing the existing fire station 71 facility and acquiring, constructing, equipping and improving a new fire station 71 facility on the existing site;

Such debt to be evidenced by the issuance of general obligation bonds or any other multiple year financial obligation of the district; such bonds to be sold in one series or more, for a price above or below the principal amount of such series, on terms and conditions, and with such maturities as permitted by law and as the district may determine, including provisions for redemption of the bonds prior to maturity with or without payment of the premium of not to exceed three percent; and shall such tax revenues and the earnings from the investment of such bond proceeds and tax revenues be collected, retained and spent as a voter approved revenue change under article X, section 20 of the Colorado constitution or any other law?


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